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Durban - Olympic cyclist Burry Stander, who was killed in an accident last year, could not avoid the crash because the taxi he collided with turned illegally into his path.
On Wednesday, accident reconstruction specialist Craig Proctor-Parker testified in the trial of taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court.
Proctor-Parker said the crash was caused when Nyawose made an illegal right turn over a solid centre barrier line, which prohibits right turns.
Nyawose has pleaded not guilty to a charge of culpable homicide or alternatively reckless and negligent driving.
The State alleges that Nyawose was travelling south-bound on Marine Drive near Shelly Beach on January 3 last year when he crossed the barrier line on to the northbound lane to turn right into Stott Street.
Stander had been cycling north on Marine Drive. He suffered extensive “blunt- force traumas” and died at the scene.
Proctor-Parker, who was asked to investigate the crash by the State, said Stander had had “right of way” but Nyawose’s taxi moved into his path.
“The taxi had turned right illegally and that did not allow the cyclist time to react to avoid the impact by either stopping or swerving.”
He said, based on information received from a GPS tracking device, which had been fitted to Stander’s bicycle, he was travelling at about 44km/h when he was 63m away from the point of the impact.
However, the information obtained from the tracking device was only accepted provisionally by the court on Wednesday as the State will have to call another witness to testify about the accuracy of the information and how it was obtained.
Proctor-Parker said, based on observations he had carried out at the crash scene, Stander and Nyawose would have had a clear view of each other on the road.
He also said there was no information to determine the speed of the taxi, but it was probably travelling “relatively slowly”.
He said damage to the taxi showed that the bicycle had crashed into the left side of the taxi.
“There is a bicycle tyre mark on the taxi’s left bumper which shows the point at which the front wheel struck the taxi for the first time.
“There are also scratch marks and transfer marks along the left which shows that the bicycle hit the taxi on the left and then deflected down its left side.”
Proctor-Parker said there were no signs to indicate that right turns were prohibited but this was not necessary due to the solid barrier line.
Earlier on Wednesday, motorist Basil Stergiopoulos, who was driving in Stott Street at the time of the accident, was cross-examined by Nyawose’s attorney Xolile Ntshulana.
He testified that he saw Nyawose’s taxi overtake other vehicles and turn right. Ntshulana said other witnesses had not seen the taxi turn.
Proctor-Parker will be cross-examined by the defence on Thursday.