Tragic end to charity challenge in memory of lost friend

Cyclist dies raising money for research into disease that claimed life of pal

by Mark Appleton   April 14, 2011  

Gareth Crockett.jpg

A charity cycling and running challenge in memory of a young life lost has itself ended in tragedy with the death of one of the participants.

Gareth Crockett, a man in his late twenties from Moira, County Down in Northern Ireland, died yesterday after being struck by a car while cycling on Anglesey. He was on the fourth leg of an endurance challenge, dubbed the Bel-don Challenge,  undertaken to raise money for research into leukaemia, the disease that last year took the life of his friend John Erwin, 26, who also came from Moira.

Together with another friend of John's, Jez Davison, Gareth had run a marathon in Belfast before cycling to Dublin where the pair ran a second marathon distance. Their plan or arriving in Holyhead had been to ride to Bristol where they would run a third marathon before riding to London and completing the challenge by taking part in the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.

Tragically they never got off Anglesey, as Gareth and Jez were in a group of five cyclists when Gareth was struck by a Vauxhall Corsa being driven by a 77-year-old man, also travelling eastbound on the A55 dual carriageway near Llangefni.

A local man, 18-year-old Andrew Winston-Jones and his mother Ruth came across the scene shortly after the incident. They called the emergency services and attempted to render assistance.

Andrew told the Daily Post: “It was an awful, awful scene. My mum held the man’s hand and tried to comfort him, while me and some other people tried to put him in the recovery position and administer first aid.

"The other cyclists appeared to be in shock. My thoughts go out to his family. It’s a scene I will never forget,” he added.

An air ambulance was despatched to the scene but Gareth was pronounced dead by paramedics at the crash location. The car driver was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, with knee and ankle injuries.

If you wish to give to the cause that Gareth and Jez were supporting, you can do so at their Just Giving web page.
 

7 user comments

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djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [141 posts]
14th April 2011 - 10:55

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Another tragedy, I know that there is a focus on deaths to cyclists caused by lorries at the moment, and I may be censured for this, but i'snt it time that we started to retest the ability of older persons to operate and control deadly weapons in public places.

Frostback

posted by John Groves [5 posts]
14th April 2011 - 11:22

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Truly aweful.

Its a sad matter of fact but car drivers pay so little attention on dual carriage ways.

A report from my local paper about a death on a local dual carriage way...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-13072253

and one from last year...
http://www.newspostleader.co.uk/news/local/cyclist_killed_in_spine_road_...

It needs spelled out to drivers that we could be there and they need to pay attention!

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [397 posts]
14th April 2011 - 11:25

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John Groves wrote:
Another tragedy, I know that there is a focus on deaths to cyclists caused by lorries at the moment, and I may be censured for this, but i'snt it time that we started to retest the ability of older persons to operate and control deadly weapons in public places.

Everyone should be re-tested regularly, but it'll never happen. They should make a re-sit of the theory test a condition of removing points from a licence (rather than just 2yrs or whatever). People should be force to sit eye-sight tests and the police should check this in acidents and if they pull someone over. But its all wishfull thinking, it would never make it through to a law.

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [397 posts]
14th April 2011 - 11:29

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I wholeheartedly agree. I was recently on a Driver Awareness Training course for speeding (something I think everyone should go through on a regular basis whether for an offence or not) and the instructor - a police training officer - agreed that the fact that elderly people only need to sign themselves fit to drive at the age of 90 was ridiculous! HGV drivers at least need a medical regularly to continue.

posted by silly [35 posts]
14th April 2011 - 11:55

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It's not necessarily the ability to drive, or even read the road. It's more the ability to react to a situation. I feel that as you get older your reaction times become longer and your physical ability to take action becomes much less, perhaps even unsuitable.

I agree with the driver awareness training to get points removed, but there should be a physical (and perhaps mental) assessment on a yearly basis for anyone over an agreed age.

Marky

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posted by Marky Legs [101 posts]
14th April 2011 - 12:45

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Agreed on retesting the elderly. Last spring an old guy wrote my car off by driving straight into the back of it at traffic lights after confusing his brake and accelerator.

Luckily no one was seriously injured that time, but the guy still has a driving licence.

posted by Sanderville [186 posts]
14th April 2011 - 18:16

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