Clive Ndou
2 minute read
18 Jul 2014
2:00 pm

Burry Stander ‘wasn’t speeding’ – expert

Clive Ndou

Suggestions the late Olympic cyclist Burry Stander was speeding when his bicycle collided with a minibus taxi in Shelly Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast were not supported by evidence gathered at the accident scene, the Port Shepstone Magistrate's Court heard yesterday.

FILE PICTURE: Njabulo Nyawose the taxi driver at the Port Shepstone magistrate court in the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe Date 17 July 2014

Stander was killed in the accident last year.

Testifying in the trial of taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose, Craig Proctor-Parker, an accident reconstruction expert, rejected suggestions by the accused’s defence that the extensive damage caused to the bicycle during the accident pointed to speeding on Stander’s part. “Even if the bicycle was stationary and someone drove into it at about 120km/h the impact would have been devastating,” Proctor-Parker said.

Information received from a tracking device fitted to Stander’s bicycle, Proctor-Parker said, suggested the cyclist had been travelling at about 40km/h seconds before the accident. “He was travelling at a medium speed,” said Proctor-Parker.

Nyawose, who is out on bail, is facing culpable homicide and reckless driving charges in connection with the cyclist’s death.

According to the indictment, Nyawose was allegedly travelling south-bound on Marine Drive in Shelly Beach on January 3 last year when he drove over the barrier line to take a right turn into Stott Street.

Stander’s bicycle, which was northbound on Marine Drive, hit Nyawose’s minibus on the left side. Proctor-Parker said Nyawose’s vehicle had moved into Stander’s path, which had the right of way.

Mandy Stander the mother of cyclist Burry Stander attends the case of his son accused killer at the Port Shepstone magistrate court. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe Date 17 July 2014

Mandy Stander the mother of cyclist Burry Stander attends the case of his son accused killer at the Port Shepstone magistrate court. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe Date 17 July 2014

“Vehicles are not allowed to turn right as there is a solid line,” Proctor-Parker, who is a State witness in the case, said.

However, Nyawose’s lawyer, Xolile Ntshulane, put it to him that Stander’s bicycle would not have been so badly damaged if the cyclist had been travelling at a reasonable speed.

Proctor-Parker said there were several factors that could have contributed to the damage of the bicycle’s frame, including whether it was made of carbon-fibre or not. “It is a carbon bicycle and from a speed of 30km/h or more, the damage could be huge,” he said.

Proctor-Parker, a cyclist himself, admitted under cross-examination he was bound to be naturally sympathetic towards Stander. He said he took up the case as part of his social responsibility obligations as he was contracted to the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport.

Stander, who was the defending Absa Cape Epic champion had been tipped to win gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.