Caroline Reid
Durban - Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after Durban environmentalist Caroline Reid died after being critically injured in a car crash this week.

Reid, who died in hospital on Wednesday, had been riding a bike when the collision with a car occurred.

Police Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated by Durban Central SAPS.

The 41-year-old Co-ordinator of KZN Marine Waste Network - a group of interested parties concerned about marine waste on Durban and KZN beaches - was described by friends and colleagues as a “warrior.”

“Cally was a warrior; a warrior for life and love, a warrior for animals, a warrior for our environment,” said close friend Warwick Bruce Chapman.

He and Reid became “instant” friends 20 years ago at the University of Natal Rowing Club.

“She had a wicked, naughty laugh, a mischievous sense of fun, a permanent smile and a very candid way of calling a spade a spade.

“She was an activist for our oceans and a mother to many rescued pets. Everyone she had anything to do with was left, one way or another, with the sense that they just had a brush with a force of nature. If she loved you, you really felt loved, and if you were unfortunate enough to cross her, her animals or our planet, you certainly knew about it,” said Chapman.

“On behalf of my family and our mutual friends, we send our sincere condolences to her partner, Heyne (Van Altena), and her family,” he said.

Debbie Smith met Reid a year ago through diving and fast became friends.

“Caroline was a very positive person who wanted to save the world. She wanted to make a difference, she wanted to fix things. The human race in many ways made her really down because not everybody cares about stuff and she tried to take on the whole world with many projects. She just had the most caring way about her for the environment, for animals, for things being better,” said Smith.

Lisa Guastella Smith said Reid had been instrumental in establishing and co-ordinating the KZN marine waste network.

“She co-ordinated beach cleanups, demonstrating that action must speak louder than words. A truly dedicated conservationist to the marine environment that we all enjoy.” she said.

Reid’s partner Heyne van Altena, overcome with emotion, said Reid was “truly an angel”.

The Mercury