A Sad Reminder

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I could not let this week go past without remembering Olatunji Johnson Adeyanju, known as TJ, a 17 year old just starting out on what had the potential to be, by all accounts, an adult life that would have made a difference in his community. As most of you know, he was knocked from his bike on on Deptford Church St, in March last year, by a driver who didn’t stop. Another young man, from the same area, Barry Normah. That driver has just been sentenced to four years in jail for dangerous driving. And banned from driving for five years. It does not seem much, given the terrible damage he wrought, killing, devastating a family and robbing a community of the kind of young man that may have contributed much. Huge damage.
At such a time you would expect a family to be totally consumed by their own feelings of loss and grief and not to care too much about the wider world. Understandably so. But this family spoke out, about TJ, about their loss, about how they feel the sentence was not enough, as you would expect them to. And in the manner of their speaking they probably showed why TJ was considered such an exceptional young man. For their comments expressed their concern for others, their community, even at this time, when you would only expect them to be concerned with their own loss. TJ’s uncle said
“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,” he said. “Residents in
Deptford have often complained about how unsafe they feel whilst cycling in
the area and are again calling for more designated cycle lanes to be
installed, particularly on and around Creek Road.”
If anyone who knew Olatunji is reading this, I would like his family to know how sad we at Lewisham Cyclists are at his loss, and how much we respect the way they have dealt with and responded to to such a terrible bereavement. Brave and honourable people.