Fa­ther saw his son, 11, crash into Kil­lar­ney wall

Boy racer didn’t stand a chance as brakes failed

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LEILA SAMODIEN

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.

leila.samodien@inl.co.za

PIC­TURES: SAM CLARK

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.