It’s only a few weeks since we posted some words in memory of one young man, killed by a dangerous driver on a Lewisham street, Olatunji Johnson Adeyanju, (also known as T.J) and the bravery and dignity of his family even in their grief. And now another family, on another stretch of our borough’s roads, face the same sorrow and suffering, another young man gone.
We always struggle to find the right words to say at these times. We cannot imagine how the family must be feeling. And really, it is no business of ours. He was their loved one, not ours. They called his name, looked forward to seeing him after work, at the weekend, shared meals with him. We did not know him personally.
However, because of where and how it happened, nearly every London cyclist will have heard about his death, felt shocked, upset, worried, thought about how his family must be feeling.
We must absolutely give the family their space and do everything we can not to intrude on their grief. But we must also, and as soon as we can, do whatever we can to make sure the chances of this happening again to another man, woman or child, are as low as they can possibly be. I am minded of the words I saw in the local paper quoting Olatunji’s uncle, after his nephew’s killer was convicted of causing his death by dangerous driving. His uncle was quoted as saying that, if any good is to come from the tragic death of Olatunji then more needs to be done to promote safer cycling in the capital,
Well, a year or so later, it seems we haven’t yet done enough.