Driver due in court over death of Lewis Balyckyi

Talented rider died on training run weeks before joining semi-pro team

by Mark Appleton   August 2, 2011  

Lewis Balyckyi winning at the Tameside circuit in 2010 (courtesy British Cycling).jpg

The driver of a van involved in the death of a talented young Lancastrian cyclist has been summonsed to appear at Preston Magistrates Court later this month, reports the Lancashire Evening Post.

Eighteen-year old Lewis Balyckyi died on January 18 just five miles from his home in Walton-le-Dale while out on a training ride. He was struck in Bretherton by a Ford Transit van driven by 50-year old Leslie Pitblado of Leyland and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lewis had raced bikes since the age of eight and had been a member of British Cycling’s Talent Team.

He was also an original member of Team Wallis, now the teamwallis-CHH development team, and with support funding from the John Ibbotson Fund, was just weeks away from further pursuing his dreams by moving to France to join a semi-professional team.

Road.cc understands that Mr Pitblado is due to face a charge of causing death by driving without due care and attention when he appears before magistrates in Preston on August 30.

When tried by magistrates the maximum sentence for such an offence is six months imprisonment but if referred to a Crown court, a judge would have the power to sentence a defendant to up to five years in jail.

Meanwhile a trust fund has been set up in Lewis' name and the Lewis Balyckyi Memorial Sportive Ride has been scheduled for September 18.