iol: Man jailed for cyclist’s death
March 05 2010 at 07:13AM
By Michelle Jones
More than two years after he smashed his bakkie into two cyclists, killing one and critically injuring another, a Kommetjie mechanic has been convicted on charges of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.
Liam Jelliman, 25, was sentenced to two years in prison and had his licence suspended for 10 years.
He handed himself in to police and was arrested hours after the crash on November 24, 2007. Police at the time told the Cape Times that witnesses had seen him get out of his bakkie after the crash, remove one of the bicycles that got stuck under his vehicle, and drive off.
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Jelliman’s white Isuzu bakkie smashed into Brian Crabb, 35, and Glenn Bee, 57, while they were cycling near Ocean View. Crabb was killed instantly and Bee, a big wave surfer, seriously injured.
Bee said yesterday he was “quite happy” that he could put the crash behind him.
“I’m just glad the justice system has done something serious about people who knock other people over. I believe this could set a precedent. Whether it was a harsher sentence or a lighter sentence, it doesn’t matter. He can’t drive for 10 years and I think that’s a good thing.”
He said he still experienced dizzy spells and was not physically able to ride a bicycle.
“But I’m working through that and hope to get back.”
Bee said he hoped people would now think about the consequences of crashing into a cyclist.
“When you’re in a car, you’re protected. The person on the bicycle will come off second best.” But he added that cyclists needed to “sharpen up” and be more careful while on the roads.
Bee is co-owner of BEE Painters and Waterproofers, which he established with his brother, Russ, a number of years ago.
Two weeks after the accident, Jelliman was released on R3 000 bail by magistrate Crystal McKenna.
Appearing in court that day, Jelliman had appeared nervous and withdrawn, giving his relatives in the public gallery a slight smile before staring ahead.
Although he admitted he had “turned himself over” to police hours after the incident, he intended to plead not guilty.
During cross-examination, investigating officer Jaco Tromp said Jelliman had “known the Bee family very well” and had been taught by Bee’s wife.
In his affidavit to the court, Jelliman wrote: “I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia at a young age. I’m on no medication and am concerned further incarceration will cause me psychological problems. I have been severely traumatised by this.”
Jelliman made his final appearance in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, the day after a Table View man appeared in the same court on similar charges.
Stephen Wallendorf, 33, is suspected of crashing into and then driving away from Ren Brand, 68, an independent security consultant from Fish Hoek, who had been cycling with a friend along Ou Kaapse Weg on February 20.
Wallendorf appeared in court on charges of reckless and negligent driving. He was released by the court on R500 bail and warned to reappear in six weeks’ time, on April 13.
Brand is in Groote Schuur Hospital and his right leg has been amputated below the knee.
He was one of at least four cyclists who have been involved in accidents involving vehicles in the past two months.
Eleven days before Brand’s accident, Kelly Kosky, 59, originally from the US and a church minister involved in a number of upliftment projects in Khayelitsha and the Eastern Cape, was knocked off his bicycle on the R304 in Stellenbosch.
He and Brand are members of the Recyclers Cycling Club – a group of about 70 retired and soon-to-retire men and women – and are determined to continue cycling.