Pretoria – The widow of seasoned Centurion cyclist and father-of-two Andrew Randall could hardly string a sentence together when she spoke of her husband’s tragic death.
In an interview with SABC News, Tracy Randall said: “I got a couple of missed calls on my phone, and as soon as I got those missed calls I knew something was wrong.
“So I phoned back and was given the news that Andrew wasn’t going to come back home that my children weren’t going to have a father anymore that my best friend was gone, and that has just torn us apart as a family.”
Tracy appealed to the driver of a white Toyota Tazz that ploughed into her husband and several other cyclists while they were training on the R56 and M26 at 5.37am on Good Friday to hand himself over to the police.
“It’s just devastating and if I could just find closure as soon as possible so that we can continue with our lives, because we won’t be able to put anything behind us. We won’t be able to forget Andrew.”
As she continued to pour her heart out, she revealed that their wedding anniversary was a week away.
“We were married on April 27, and that’s a week from today, and I can’t say happy anniversary to my husband.
"I just request motorists out there to have respect for cyclists and I request all cyclists and joggers to also have respect for vehicles.”
The father to a 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter was declared dead at the scene.
His four cycling mates sustained moderate to serious injuries, while others escaped with minor injuries.
Randall is believed to have been cycling at the back when the tragedy happened.
The driver of the Tazz, whose identity is known to police, abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot.
Pictures from the scene show that a grille was detached from the car and its windscreen badly damaged. The car was found a short distance away against the road barrier.
At the weekend, Tshwane Metro Police Department spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba had urged the driver to come forward.
The Pretoria News could not confirm on Monday night whether the driver had been arrested.
Tshwane Diamond Classic route designer David Labuschagne, who was part of the group, meanwhile told the Rekord Pretoria East website: “It all happened so fast. It was almost surreal.
"I was at the front of the group and was very fortunate that I wasn’t hit by the motorist.
“He drove right through the middle of the bunch and struck almost everybody. It was like he didn’t realise for a while what was going on and just kept going.
"One of our group members got flung through the vehicle’s windshield. I rushed to the car to try to get him out, but the doors were locked.”
Labuschagne then broke the passenger window, dragged the passenger out and managed to get the injured rider out of the vehicle.
“Eight cyclists were taken to hospital but thankfully everyone is in a stable condition. We don’t know whether the driver fell asleep or whether he was drunk,” commented Labuschagne, also chairman of the Bestmed TBC Cycling Club, Pretoria’s largest cycling club.
He said the Tshwane Diamond Classic, scheduled for May 26, would feature special edition medals dedicated to the memory of Randall.
ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said Randall had sustained numerous injuries and showed no signs of life. “Nothing could be done for him and he was declared dead,” he said.
Six other patients were assessed on the scene. Three were found to have sustained moderate injuries while three others had sustained minor injuries.
The patients were treated for their injuries and were thereafter transported to nearby hospitals for further care.
The Maritzburg College Old Boys Association paid tribute to Randall. “RIP Andrew Randall – Class of 1991. Sincere condolences to his wife, family and friends,” the association wrote on its Facebook page.
Dominique Janssen posted on Randall’s Facebook page: “I am just lost for words. I can’t believe it, we send lots of love to the Randall family! RIP Andrew Randall and thank you for all you have done to progress my cycling. You will truly be missed by many.”
To this, Motso Letlape commented: “I don’t know him, but judging from this post, he was humble. He passed on doing something he loved. May justice be done for that coward who took his life. May your soul RIP Andrew Randall.”