Another cyclist struck in NMR accident

The accident occurred early this morning on NMR Avenue. PHOTO: Submitted
The accident occurred early this morning on NMR Avenue. PHOTO: Submitted

A CYCLIST was knocked off his bike while he was riding in the cycling lane on Masabalala Yengwa (NMR Avenue) earlier this morning. Leonard Silas, a cyclist from the Cycle Specialists Cycling Club was struck by a van that allegedly veered into the cycle lane, despite desperate screams to let the driver know he was about to hit the cyclist.

The accident comes after the tragic death of Richard da Silva and Jared Dwyer, who were killed on the M4 almost two weeks ago. A mass memorial ride held to honour the riders was held on Sunday with more than 500 cyclists taking part.

When Northglen News spoke to Silas this morning, the Phoenix resident said he was angry at the driver of the vehicle for abdicating responsibility and for claiming he didn’t touch him.

“I was aware of the vehicle and out of the corner of my eye I saw he was getting very close to the yellow cycling lane. I shouted to get his attention to warn him but he didn’t hear and as he drove up alongside me, I was hit and I remember hitting the ground with tremendous force.

“I lay on my back and was in a lot of pain. The other cyclists told me to stay still in case I’d broken something. The driver then came up to me and claimed he didn’t hit me. A few cyclists who were behind me at the time of the accident said they saw the incident. He then got into his vehicle and drove off without offering any assistance or checking if I was okay,” he said.

Silas has laid a charge against the driver for reckless and negligent driving.

“In view of the tragedy that claimed the lives of the two cyclists on the M4, I hope to see more action from the police and provincial government to protect us. There is a blatant disregard from some drivers when it comes to cyclists. I’d just like to thank everyone who stopped to see if I was okay and who helped me,” he said.


Shiraz Habbib

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