Loss of a lov­ing, car­ing man


Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS - Lynn Gri­er­son

MUCH-loved youth worker Kaleb Smith died on Mon­day when he was in a col­li­sion with a fur­ni­ture truck as he cy­cled to work on Toodyay Road.

The driver and passers-by rushed to the aid of the 25-year-old Gidge­gan­nup res­i­dent but were un­able to re­sus­ci­tate him.

The col­li­sion flung Mr Smith into a gravel ditch near the in­ter­sec­tion of Reen Road at about 5.15am.

Mr Smith was a tal­ented per­cus­sion­ist and an ac­tive mem­ber of East­gate Church in Mt He­lena.

Pas­tor Jared Keal­ley said the young mu­si­cian in­spired lo­cal youth through his mu­sic.

“He played the drums and joined the church youth band when he was 15 years old,” Mr Keal­ley said.

“He later taught him­self to play the gui­tar and he was a tal­ented song­writer, too.

“Kids loved him and he will be sorely missed in our church in many ways.”

The church re­cently pre­sented the young mu­si­cian with a set of 10 African drums.

Mr Smith was an ac­cred­ited fa­cil­i­ta­tor for the Mid­land-based Hol­lyoake Drum­beat youth pro­gram, en­cour­ag­ing ‘re­silience through rhythm’, and last week he be­gan work­ing with stu­dents at Eastern Hills High School.

He was study­ing for a Di­ploma in Youth Work and worked as a youth worker for the City of Can­ning.

The coun­cil paid trib­ute to Kaleb in an obit­u­ary in Wed­nes­day’s The West Aus­tralian: “Our sin­cere con­do­lences to the Smith fam­ily on the sad loss of Kaleb. The City has lost a ded­i­cated em­ployee, who will be greatly missed by all – From the Com­mis­sion­ers, CEO, Di­rec­tors and the staff of the City of Can­ning.”

“He touched so many peo­ple in the com­mu­nity,” Mr Keal­ley added.

“He was a warm, lov­ing, car­ing young man, who al­ways put oth­ers first.”

Mr Smith was the as­sis­tant manager at Sub­way in Mun­dar­ing, where he had worked since com­plet­ing his ed­u­ca­tion at Mun­dar­ing Chris­tian Col­lege.

His wife Lau­ren first heard about the ac­ci­dent when her hus­band’s manager called her af­ter he did not ar­rive at work.

She re­traced his jour­ney to the scene of the ac­ci­dent.

The cou­ple re­cently cel­e­brated their third wed­ding an­niver­sary.

Ma­jor crash in­ves­ti­ga­tors are ap­peal­ing to wit­nesses to the ac­ci­dent to con­tact Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

Gidge­gan­nup Progress As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Sally Block said Toodyay Road was one of many coun­try roads used by cy­clists.

“A sug­ges­tion has been made to the City of Swan that Toodyay Road might need a des­ig­nated cy­cle lane, so that cy­clists can ac­cess the lo­cal roads in the area safely,” she said.

The sec­tion of the road where Mr Smith died is a 100km/h zone, has a gravel shoul­der and no cy­cle path.

Mrs Block said there was a plan to widen Toodyay Road an ad­di­tional me­tre on each shoul­der.

City of Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Fo­ley said the City had not re­ceived a re­quest for a ded­i­cated cy­cle lane on Toodyay Road.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d433527

Inset: Cy­clist Kaleb Smith, who was killed by a truck on Toodyay Road.

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