Loss of a loving, caring man
WIDESPREAD GRIEF OVER CYCLIST’S DEATH
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.
Inset: Cyclist Kaleb Smith, who was killed by a truck on Toodyay Road.