Olympic cyclist Burry Stander. File photo: Jacques Boissinot
Olympic cyclist Burry Stander. File photo: Jacques Boissinot

‘Stander crash road dangerous’

By Kamini Padayachee Time of article published Jul 18, 2014

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Durban - An accident reconstruction specialist has testified that the road on which cyclist Burry Stander was killed is “dangerous” for cyclists.

Craig Proctor-Parker, who investigated how the crash occurred, was testifying in the trial of Njabulo Nyawose in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The case was adjourned to on Friday for further cross-examination of another witness, Peter Smith, who works as a GPS tracking device technician.

It is understood that if the State’s case is closed on Friday, Nyawose’s attorney Xolile Ntshulana will bring an application for an acquittal of his client.

During Proctor-Parker’s cross-examination on Thursday by Ntshulana, Proctor-Parker said he had recommended in his investigation report that the road, Marine Drive, which is in a popular holiday area, needed proper pedestrian, wheelchair and cycling facilities.

Nyawose has pleaded not guilty to a charge of culpable homicide in connection with the accident near Shelly Beach in January last year.

Stander, who had been cycling north in Marine Drive, died after his bicycle crashed into Nyawose’s taxi.

Nyawose’s taxi had been travelling south in Marine Drive when it allegedly moved into the north-bound lane and turned right into Stott Street.

It is alleged that Nyawose turned illegally over a solid centre barrier line.

On Wednesday, Proctor-Parker told the court he had concluded from his investigation that Stander had had right of way when the taxi had turned illegally into his path.

He said, based on information on a GPS tracking device on Stander's bike, he was travelling at 44km/h at a distance of 63m away from the point of impact.

Proctor-Parker had volunteered to do the investigation without being paid. “I do a lot of government work and as part of that contract I have to give back to society, so I try to do at least two cases free every year.”

Ntshulana told Proctor-Parker that his client believed “race was an issue” in the case.

Proctor-Parker replied that he had no interest in “race, colour or creed” and he had also tested Nyawose’s version through his reconstruction exercises.

“I checked and double-checked both sides’ versions.”

He denied that Stander had been travelling at a high speed and said it had been “medium”.

He conceded that he was a cyclist and that he would be “sympathetic” to cyclists.

He admitted that during his observations of the crash scene area, he saw vehicles turning right into Stott Street across the barrier line.

Peter Smith, who was employed as a GPS tracking device technician last year, testified that he had downloaded the data from Stander’s tracking device and printed it for the police. He said there would be a “footprint” to show if the data was altered after it was downloaded.

Smith said the device was in working order when it was given to him by the police.

The Mercury

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