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Cyclist who died after crash in Richmond Park named

Dr Sian Tiong Lim from Surrey worked in pharmaceuticals development – and was one-time orchid smuggler

 

The cyclist who died after he crashed on a descent in Richmond Park, south west London, last month has been named as 40-year-old Dr Sian Tiong Lim who lived in Oxshott, Surrey.

He died at the Royal London Hospital after being taken there by air ambulance following the incident on Sunday 24 August.

Dr Lim, originally from Malaysia, obtained his Ph D from King’s College London in 2000, and worked in Guildford for pharmaceuticals business MedPharm, where he was vice-president of development.

According to the London Evening Standard, Dr Lim and his wife Evelyn had two children, a four-year-old daughter named Caelyn and an infant son Elijah, who was born in June this year.

The newspaper adds that Dr Lim was jailed for four months in 2006 after customs officials at London’s Heathrow Airport found more than 100 rare orchids in his luggage on his return from Malaysia, including two that an expert at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew had never come across before.

Dr Lim claimed that he was trying to protect the orchids by taking them away from Malaysia’s hot climate. The Telegraph reported at the time that the worldwide trade in smuggling orchids was worth £6 billion a year.

A friend of his told the Standard:  “The incident in 2006 was a mistake and it nearly destroyed Sian’s whole life. He didn’t deserve that. He was helping someone and it went wrong and he took responsibility for it. That was the kind of man he was.

“When he was in prison he helped teach inmates how to write letters back to their family. He was let out of prison early because of his good behaviour.

“He was so smart and always wanted to be the best, whether it was his work or his orchids or, after he was released from prison, bonsai trees.”

Dr Lim’s friend went on: “He was also an experienced cyclist and would cycle to work two or three times a week. He was traveling way below the speed limit when the accident happened. I was shocked and devastated.

“His life was dedicated to his work, bonsai trees and his family.

“He was also a very good father and his daughter was his sweetheart. He even had her picture on his phone.

“It was very sad. His wife is still struggling to cope.”

It is believed that Dr Lim crashed due to losing control on his bike on gravel on the surface of the road as he negotiated a bend.

Last week, another cyclist who rides in the Royal Park, Rene Taylor, spoke of his “guilt” after he experienced a similar crash at the same location but did not notify the authorities of the state of the road surface.

Richmond Cycling Campaign’s Tim Lennon said: “We do regularly hear about incidents in Richmond Park, whether involving cars, bicycles, or pedestrians, and we're keen to work with the Royal Parks to understand the circumstances, and whether this has lessons to be learned for how we all use the park and its facilities..

"In particular, it may be that the Royal Parks need to look at the state of the road surface at the edge, where more cyclists tend to be," he added.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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