Father saw his son, 11, crash into Killarney wall
Boy racer didn’t stand a chance as brakes failed
A HEARTBROKEN father told how he watched his 11-year-old motorcyclist son crash into a wall during a race at Killarney, apparently after a mechanical failure.
Riyaath Reynolds, who would have turned 12 on January 4, was rushed to hospital but was so badly injured that his family decided to turn off his life support.
Riyaath was an up-and-coming young racer who recently won Western Province Motor Club’s Rookie of the Year for short-circuit racing in the 150cc class.
His father, Faizel Reynolds, said his son started racing only this year, but quickly showed he was a rising talent despite his youth.
Just last week he competed in an eight-hour endurance race at Killarney.
He met two racers from the US who wanted to help him race abroad.
“He was so excited about that,” said his father.
However, on Thursday during the All Bike Race Day tragedy struck the Reynolds family.
Reynolds said Riyaath had been going through turn three when he appeared to have brake failure, causing the front of the motorcycle to shake.
When Riyaath tried to use his brakes at turn five, coming off the straight, they didn’t work and he smashed into a wall.
“Usually in that scenario you’d throw your bike on to the side to lose speed, but that comes with experience,” said Reynolds.
“Riyaath must have panicked and kept holding on to the brake.
“When I saw the ambulance coming, I started expecting the worst,” said Reynolds.
Riyaath was taken to Milnerton Medi-Clinic with severe head injuries and a punctured colon.
“His heart was weak and he had no brain function. Basically, the machine was keeping him alive,” said his father. He said the family chose to turn off his life support.
He was buried yesterday. Among the mourners were a crowd of people from the motor racing fraternity.
While Riyaath hadn’t been anxious or suspected anything was wrong before the race, Reynolds said he himself had not been feeling well and had passed out just before his son’s fatal race.
“There’s only two times I’ve ever passed out – the day Riyaath was born and just before his race.”
Riyaath’s mother Doerieyah was too distraught to speak to the media.
“She’s struggling to deal with it. She still believes he’s at the hospital sleeping,” said Reynolds.
He described his son as an adventurous boy, who loved most sports.
However, motorcycle racing was his first love, and he’d hoped to race professionally one day.
“He was outgoing, he lived life to the fullest, he was always jovial – that’s how everyone knew him. And, more than anything, he loved racing.”
Riyaath also enjoyed photography and was especially fond of old, windup cameras. They’d planned to get him a new camera for his birthday.
Next year he was due to have gone into Grade 7 at Westcott Primary in Diep River.
The Reynolds’s have three other sons – Ameer, 8, Mas-sood, 17, and Fahkri, 18.
Wester n Province Motor Club chairman Brian Smith said he did not know of any other accident at Killarney in which such a young racer had died. “We’ve had a few accidents and deaths over the past decade, but it’s very infrequent.”
He said investigations would be conducted by both the police and Motorsport South Africa into the exact cause of the crash.
GRIEVING: Faizel Reynolds tells how his 11-year-old son Riyaath was killed in a crash at Killarney race track on Thursday. Sitting on his lap is his youngest son Ameer, 8.
GONE TOO SOON: Riyaath Reynolds, 11, on his treasured motorbike.