Driver jailed over hit and run that killed teenage cyclist

Olatunji Adeyanju, 17, was killed in Deptford, South East London, family unhappy at four year sentence

by Sarah Barth   May 25, 2013  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

A driver has been jailed for killing a teenage cyclist in a hit and run incident in South East London in March last year.

Olatunji Adeyanju, 17 and known as TJ, was killed by Barry Normah in Deptford Church Street. Normah, aged 28, paused before driving away from the scene and later dumping his car.

Normah was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at an Old Bailey trial and yesterday sentenced to four years in prison.

Olatunji (known as TJ)'s uncle and guardian Steven Gisanrin, told News Shopper: "There are no words to express the pain we have suffered since that day and we are not only angry that Mr Normah chose to compound our grief by denying his actions and putting us through the ordeal of a trial, but also extremely disappointed in the length of the sentence he has been given.

"Now that the criminal proceedings against Mr Normah have concluded, we as a family can hopefully begin to move on with our lives.

"TJ was a popular, charming and exceptional young man with huge potential.

"TJ’s warm cheeky smile and friendly nature endeared him to everyone he met and he was loved and respected by all who knew him.

"Although he will be sadly missed, we as a family take comfort in the fact that he has left us with so many positive memories, and his contribution to our lives will not be forgotten."

He added: "If any good is to come from the tragic death of Olatunji then more needs to be done to promote safer cycling in the capital.

"Residents in Deptford have often complained about how unsafe they feel whilst cycling in the area and are again calling for more designated cycle lanes to be installed, particularly on and around Creek Road."

There is now a civil case pending against Normah, in which TJ and his family are represented by Fentons Solicitors LLP.

Olatunji had been deputy head boy at Addey and Stanhope School in New Cross before going on to pursue a BTEC in business studies at Croydon College.

Another local cyclist, Steve Ruby, echoed TJ's uncle when he said that the roads around the area were not safe for cyclists.

He said: "Sometimes it’s safe to cycle and sometimes it isn’t. There just aren’t enough cycle lanes around here. We have to use back roads and stick to the side roads to stay safe while cycling.

"I cycle whenever I can and prefer to use my bike instead of public transport, but sometimes it’s not safe."

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

There's more news about car drivers crashing into cyclists than about cycling itself here.

I'm gonna say it again, I've never had a problem with a car driver. I did, on the other hand, have an accident with a cyclist on Wednesday who couldn't care less about where he was going - no slowing down, no hand signal, not even a look and was he riding on pavement! I ended up being rushed to the hospital. That being said, 95 % of the cyclists I meet are horrible drivers. I honestly would be happier if no one rode bike because it's hell.

ricolek's picture

posted by ricolek [39 posts]
25th May 2013 - 8:11

8 Likes

I mostly agree with you. I don't live in the UK, I live in Bosnia where we don't have even one kilometer of a cycle path, but I've noticed that due to relatively small number of cyclists here, there is no apparent road rage from the drivers of motor vehicles. Cyclists today are horrible drivers, and I can notice that cyclists need to have experience in driving cars or other vehicles in order to be aware of the traffic, habits of drivers and other unexpected things that happen daily.

posted by DofeDome [23 posts]
25th May 2013 - 9:27

6 Likes

ricolek wrote:
There's more news about car drivers crashing into cyclists than about cycling itself here.

I'm gonna say it again, I've never had a problem with a car driver. I did, on the other hand, have an accident with a cyclist on Wednesday who couldn't care less about where he was going - no slowing down, no hand signal, not even a look and was he riding on pavement! I ended up being rushed to the hospital. That being said, 95 % of the cyclists I meet are horrible drivers. I honestly would be happier if no one rode bike because it's hell.

You've never had a problem with a car driver? You are very lucky, I think most people would admit to having had a problem with a car driver, a cyclist and a pedestrian in their life with varying degrees of frequency, if you've never had a problem with a car driver, it makes you very lucky in my book. I do find it strange you say 95% of cyclists you meet are horrible drivers, does this mean you have had a problem with drivers, but they were all also cyclists?

Your story about your problem with a cyclist does sound bad and whilst I don't condone riding on the pavement (as its illegal), the stats show that 60% of collisions between pedestrians and cyclists are actually the fault of the pedestrian, not the cyclist and only 8% were caused by the cyclist not obeying signage (this is from a city of Westminster study published on this website). It seems you were very unfortunate to meet one of a small minority of bad cyclists but I hope you will see in time that cycling is a good thing and you are made aware of the benefits.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
25th May 2013 - 10:26

8 Likes

If you never had a problem with a driver does not mean every driver is a good driver.Are you a pedestrian? Some people ride on the pavement because they are afraid of the traffic but that is not an excuse.Someone died here and a bit of compassion is not too much to ask for is it?

Un's picture

posted by Un [2 posts]
25th May 2013 - 10:32

8 Likes

Yes, most of the situations I get into are caused by people on bikes. I must say that there is a difference between hobby sport cyclists (they usually know the rules and they behave, no problems there) and just people riding bikes (who don't give a damn a get in my way all the time).

I try to be friendly with the car drivers because I believe it pays off. I also don't understand the purpose of these articles. The only thing they are gonna cause is more hatred between cyclists and car drivers. Though I believe these are horrible things that happen to people, it is not going to help if we spread more hate. These articles show up here more and more and slowly push out the positive side of things, which is a shame.

ricolek's picture

posted by ricolek [39 posts]
25th May 2013 - 10:42

5 Likes

ricolek, from all your posts, I would say that you are a non cyclist troll, I claim my Five pounds reward.

posted by lolol [122 posts]
25th May 2013 - 11:43

11 Likes

ricolek wrote:
That being said, 95 % of the cyclists I meet are horrible drivers.

Citation required, or is it just an anecdotal statistic that you pulled out of your arse?

ricolek wrote:
I honestly would be happier if no one rode bike because it's hell.

Youre in the wrong place to be saying that frankly and in London, the trend is against you as car ownership down 30% and car journeys down 35% since 2001.

Your opinion would hold more (or at least some) weight if it was with regards to driving a car.

ricolek wrote:
...just people riding bikes (who don't give a damn a get in my way all the time).

You need to view this from a different perspective: you are the problem.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [559 posts]
25th May 2013 - 11:52

9 Likes

ricolek wrote:
Yes, most of the situations I get into are caused by people on bikes. I must say that there is a difference between hobby sport cyclists (they usually know the rules and they behave, no problems there) and just people riding bikes (who don't give a damn a get in my way all the time).

Seems there is a massive difference between cycling in the UK and cycling in Czech Republic where you appear to be based.

Perhaps if you rode in the UK you would understand that difference and also understand why sticking your head in the sand and ignoring stories like the one above is not the way cyclists here operate.

Cycling is growing enormously in the UK due to a number of factors, the one problem that remains the same though is that a significant minority of drivers either have never cycled or have a 'me first' attitude to road usage which is having an impact on the desire of new cyclists to keep going and claim their part of the road.

The article was also about the lack of consistency in the British judicial system where Death By Dangerous Driving gets the same custodial sentence as stealing money.

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [627 posts]
25th May 2013 - 12:20

6 Likes

Have Ricolek and DofeDome wandered into the wrong website thinking that Road.CC is about motoring and the problem of having to share the road with selfish buggers on bikes? Thinking

Bizarre. Like a Tory couple in a gay bar...

It sounds as if Bosnia and The Czech Rep have yet to embrace cyclists. Brace yourselves boys. If you're puzzled and frustrated now it's only going to get worse... Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1072 posts]
26th May 2013 - 0:18

5 Likes

Stop poking around under bridges, it only brings out trolls. But isn't trolling what journalism is all about.
Billions of people had a good day yesterday, report that.

DevonJohn

posted by solkanofastera [24 posts]
26th May 2013 - 14:37

7 Likes

I can see you're quite frustrated Smile

posted by DofeDome [23 posts]
26th May 2013 - 15:20

4 Likes

ricolek wrote:
There's more news about car drivers crashing into cyclists than about cycling itself here.

I'm gonna say it again, I've never had a problem with a car driver. I did, on the other hand, have an accident with a cyclist on Wednesday who couldn't care less about where he was going - no slowing down, no hand signal, not even a look and was he riding on pavement! I ended up being rushed to the hospital. That being said, 95 % of the cyclists I meet are horrible drivers. I honestly would be happier if no one rode bike because it's hell.

Blimey rushed to hospital on Wednesday and by Friday you're on a comment site.

and "95% of cyclists are horrible drivers." What's that about?

I have trouble with other car drivers even when I am driving. But it's much less emotional because I am also in a big steel box.

Sounds like it was a head injury on Wednesday!!!

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [660 posts]
24th January 2014 - 14:42

4 Likes

oozaveared wrote:
ricolek wrote:
There's more news about car drivers crashing into cyclists than about cycling itself here.

I'm gonna say it again, I've never had a problem with a car driver. I did, on the other hand, have an accident with a cyclist on Wednesday who couldn't care less about where he was going - no slowing down, no hand signal, not even a look and was he riding on pavement! I ended up being rushed to the hospital. That being said, 95 % of the cyclists I meet are horrible drivers. I honestly would be happier if no one rode bike because it's hell.

Blimey rushed to hospital on Wednesday and by Friday you're on a comment site.

and "95% of cyclists are horrible drivers." What's that about?

I have trouble with other car drivers even when I am driving. But it's much less emotional because I am also in a big steel box.

Sounds like it was a head injury on Wednesday!!!

Wow!

That was a bit mental reading that and thinking "I'm sure this is familiar" - Do you realise you've bumped a post from May last year Oozaveared?

posted by farrell [1517 posts]
24th January 2014 - 14:44

5 Likes