January 08, 2010 10:00pm
THE elderly cyclist killed near Coonalpyn on Monday was not a “stupid idiot” and he knew the danger of riding a bike on the Dukes Highway, his family says.
Peter Kidd, 73, never saw his grandson, Marco Jr, four months old, because he was tragically hit by several trucks as he tried to reach town to make arrangements for their first meeting on Tuesday.
The family believes Mr Kidd, whose car had broken down, was attempting to pedal 10km from a farm to retrieve his mobile phone mistakenly left in town that day to call his son-in-law, Marco Sr, to confirm when he would pick up the loving grandfather of eight.
“He knew that highway like the back of his hand,” Marco said.
“He knew how dangerous it is but I reckon he wanted to get his phone in case I was trying to call him.
“He wanted to see Marco Jr so much but he wasn’t a stupid idiot just riding a bike on that highway. We reckon he thought he’d get to town before dark.”
Mr Kidd, a former Alice Springs and Adelaide taxi driver and jack-of-all-trades, was mentally aware and, apart from an artificial hip, was physically fit and a “real trooper who would let nothing get him down”, Marco said.
Mr Kidd adopted three stepchildren when he married Helen, who died 10 years ago.
Her daughter and Marco’s wife, Deb, said several family members were “beating themselves up” thinking they contributed in some way to the tragedy.
Suggestions on the internet her stepdad was a “silly, old man who got what he deserved” were extremely hurtful, she said.
“It’s mind-blowing because they didn’t know him,” she said.
“He was forever telling us to be careful on that road because it was so dangerous.
“Marco tries to stop me seeing what’s being said but I read some of it and it makes me so angry.
“He wasn’t stupid. I want the world to know my dad had a heart of gold and meant the world to us.
“He’ll be in our hearts forever.”
In Coonalpyn for more than 10 years, Mr Kidd lived alone and used the bicycle to tend livestock on the farm he was minding for the owner.
Mr Kidd’s senseless death was a tragic end for a loved father, grandfather and a “real character”, Deb said.
“Mum loved him for what was inside. He’s a beautiful soul” she said. “They were so much in love and he really loved his grandchildren.
“That really came back to me when I was at his house (Thursday) and photos of the kids were everywhere.
“He didn’t have much, but what he did have he gave to his grandkids.”
Police have appealed for any motorist near the crash site about 5km west of Coonalpyn around 9.30pm on Monday to come forward.