Man killed as matrics celebrate ‘40 days’

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IOL  DF bikedeath 2408 a DFA Willem Speedy Smith with his wife, Pamela.

Kimberley - “He would have forgiven the person responsible for his death.”

These were the words of the widow of Willem “Speedy” Smith, who was killed, allegedly by a matric learner celebrating “Forty Days”, during an accident on Friday.

The police in Kimberley have confirmed that they are investigating a case of culpable homicide following the incident, when Smith was killed after being knocked off his bicycle by a Mercedes Benz in DuToitspan Road at around 10am on Friday morning.

Smith was declared dead on the scene, where he lay on the pavement in front of the Halfway House Hotel.

It is alleged that two vehicles, the Mercedes Benz and a Volkswagen Golf, both driven by matric learners from local schools, were racing and skipped a red robot when the Mercedes collided with Smith.

On the scene, police questioned the driver and passengers of the vehicles, some of whom were still dressed in school uniforms.

Only minutes earlier, the DFA received reports of matric learners who were celebrating “Forty Days”, speeding and hanging out of vehicles in DuToitspan Road.

Smith’s wife, Pamela, on Sunday said that her husband left home for his daily bicycle ride at around 9.30am and that she became worried when he had not returned by 11.45am.

“Speedy was a healthy, energetic 70-year-old who went for a ride on his bicycle every day. I became worried when he did not return at his usual time, but thought he may have taken a longer route. At around midday our pastor called me and said that Speedy had been killed. Police later came to inform me of the accident and said that he had been killed by a matric learner driving a vehicle that skipped a red robot.

“They also told me that they suspected that the driver was under the influence of alcohol,” a distraught Smith said.

She added that her husband was a people’s person and a teacher of the Word of God.

“He loved people and people loved him. He was a strong believer in God and I do believe he would have forgiven those responsible for his death,” she said.

Pamela said she would miss her husband tremendously but added that she knew he was “home” now.

She said that she had met Willem when she was only 11 years old and that they had been married for 46 years.

“Speedy was a protective husband and his death will leave a huge void in my life. While keeping healthy and fit were some of his main interests, he also loved gardening and woodwork,” she said.

Neighbours described the couple as “love birds” who could daily be seen walking hand-in-hand through the suburb of Klisserville.

Smith retired 10 years ago after working for Transnet. He leaves behind five sons and 11 grandchildren.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, on Sunday urged anyone who witnessed the accident to contact the investigating officer, Constable Gwyneth Paulsen, on 082 302 6407.

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