A prominent British motorcycling journalist has been killed in a crash near George while taking part in the launch of a new BMW motorcycle in the southern Cape this week.
Kevin Ash, the motorcycling correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in England, was riding with a group of international journalists when the accident happened, BMW said in a statement today.
The accident occurred as groups of journalists were on a two-day ride to test BMW’s new R1200GS motorbike. Apparently, the test group had started an off-road part of the test route when the crash happened.
Details were not released, but BMW said it happened “to the north” of George.
“It is with deep regret that BMW Motorrad (BMW’s motorcycle division) confirms the fatal injury of Kevin Ash in a motorcycle accident during a launch event in South Africa,” a company spokesman said in a statement this morning.
“Out of respect for Kevin’s family and friends, no further information is being made available at this time.”
Adrian Roderick, general manager for BMW Motorrad in the UK, said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news about Kevin Ash; one of the most well-liked, experienced and respected journalists in the extremely close-knit motorcycle community.
“Losing Kevin is a tragedy which will be felt across the entire industry. He was a friend, as much as a journalist, and will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this awful time.”
Ash, who has written for the Telegraph for 15 years, was also a central figure in several motorcycle websites and internet forums.
The father-of-three wrote for a number of motor publications.
Ash was a columnist for Motorcycle News, where he was assistant editor before leaving to work as a freelance writer, and ran his own motorcycle news website, Ash On Bikes.
Family, friends and colleagues paid tribute to Ash and condolences flooded his website and motorbike forums.
Tony Gallagher, editor of the Daily Telegraph, said: “Kevin Ash was the doyen of motorcycle correspondents. Respected throughout journalism and the motorcycle trade, he was also one of our most admired motoring columnists and will be greatly missed by both Telegraph staff and readers.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this difficult and sad time.”
His eldest daughter, who was not named, also released a statement on her father’s website, Ash On Bikes, on behalf of the family.
“Kevin Ash passed away due to a motorcycle accident during a press launch in South Africa,” she said.
“The phrase ‘he died doing what he loved’ sprang to mind but I would like to stamp that firmly out. He loved his family more and we love him.
“As his oldest daughter, I only recently started to fully realise just how much further his parenting went than most: on receiving a tearful phone call at Stansted airport it was a natural response (for him) to immediately cancel his press launch and ride back home to teach trigonometry the night before exams.
“Everything he did was entirely for his children and his wife, and a little bit for his cat. My parents loved each other very much and I hope that one day we can learn to live without him.” -Cape Argus