Taxi kills local runner

2019-05-09 15:02
Family and friends gather around Pietermaritz-burg runner, Abby Bandu, who was knocked over by a taxi and killed on Wednesday morning.

Family and friends gather around Pietermaritz-burg runner, Abby Bandu, who was knocked over by a taxi and killed on Wednesday morning. (chelsea pieterse)

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Pietermaritzburg resident and regular Comrades runner Abhimanyu Bandu was training for his 11th Comrades Marathon when he was knocked over by a taxi and killed on Wednesday morning. 

Bandu (52), lovingly known by family and friends as “Abby”, had completed 10 Comrades marathons and was preparing for his 11th when the tragedy occurred.

According to family at the scene, Bandu had been participating in a group run and was running with a colleague down Boshoff Street toward the Chatterton Circle when the accident happened.

Devastated family and friends crowded around the body, crying and holding each other as they came to terms with the sudden death.

While some sat on the pavement next to his body, sobbing, others stood huddled together, phoning other family and friends to inform them of the tragic news.

A family member, who asked not to be named, said Bandu had stepped off the pavement briefly within the yellow line on the road to avoid a pole when the taxi hit him.

“The taxi was going at quite a speed. It picked him up and knocked him into one of the metal signs on the roadside. He died from severe head injuries.

“The taxi stopped almost 100 metres away from the scene. Police have already put the driver into the back of the police van. Everyone is devastated.”

The taxi that struck Pietermaritz-burg jogger Abhimanyu Bandu while he was training for his 11th Comrades Marathon on Wednesday.

The family member said Bandu was “a wonderful man who would do anything for anyone”.

“He went out of his way for people, even if he didn’t really know them. He was just that sort of man.”

A police source at the scene said it is believed that the taxi was travelling fast as Bandu’s shoes were knocked “straight off his feet”.

“This is usually an indication of high speed,” he said.

The family member said the woman who was running with Bandu was not injured but was taken to St Anne’s Hospital because she was “so traumatised”.

He added that the accident had occurred at about 7.20 am on Wednesday and the mortuary van arrived well after 9 am to collect the body.

“It is not fair. It is undignified,” added the relative.

Abhimanyu Bandu (52) was killed yesterday while training for his 11th Comrades Marathon. Bandu was hit by a taxi while running down Boshoff Street with a colleague. He died instantly.

Comrades Marathon chairperson Cheryl Winn said she was devastated to hear the news, especially with the marathon around the corner.

“He must have been in the final stages of his training. This is such a loss to the running community,” said Winn.

“We want to give our condolences to the family and friends of Bandu.

“Every year we have a similar tragedy leading up to the Comrades. We urge runners to please be careful when training.”

Bandu worked at Hulamin and leaves behind his wife and two children — a son and a daughter.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident
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