Belfast Telegraph

Charity cyclist killed after car ploughs into bike

By Sarah Rainey

A charity cycle ride has ended in tragedy after a young Co Down athlete was killed during a race in north Wales.

Gareth Crockett (27) was competing in a sponsored bike ride and marathon trek with pal Jeremy Davison to raise money in memory of a childhood friend who died of leukaemia.

He had hoped to raise £10,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research by running 100 miles and cycling 450 miles from Belfast to London in eight days.

Mr Crockett was killed instantly when he was involved in a road accident on Wednesday morning.

He was knocked off his bicycle after being hit by a car on the dual carriageway in Anglesey.

The 77-year-old driver was arrested at the scene and has been bailed pending further inquiries.

Mr Crockett, a management consultant from Moira, spoke to the Belfast Telegraph a fortnight ago ahead of the charity event.

His inspirational journey had been planned in honour of childhood friend John Erwin, who died of leukaemia last year aged 26.

The pair grew up next door to each other and went to primary school together, remaining close friends in their teenage years.

Mr Crockett’s sister Emma last night paid tribute to an “inspirational and dedicated” brother who had made his family proud.

“We are just all so devastated and shocked by what has happened,” she said.

“I was massively proud of what Gareth was doing — it was just like him to take something like this on.

“He was very intelligent, hard-working and always made other people happy.” Mr Crockett, a former pupil at Wallace High School in Lisburn, had studied engineering at Oxford before transferring to Bristol University.

A keen sportsman, he had completed various marathon races in recent years, as well as cycling across Europe and America.

The young athlete had been working in London before starting out on his charity challenge from his family home in Moira last weekend.

Together with four university friends Mr Crockett had hoped to finish the ‘Beldon’ challenge by running the London Marathon this Sunday.

His brother Jonathan said Gareth would have been proud to hear that the group had finally reached their fundraising target.

“It’s just so sad that he will never know how much money they raised,” he said.

“I never doubted for a second that he would finish the challenge because it summed up everything he was about.

“Gareth got injured in Dublin and had to limp the last 10 miles of the marathon there — but he persevered and wouldn’t give up.

“People might think he was crazy but that was just him — he never did anything by halves.”

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