Lavender Hill teen dies in bike accident

Cowan Smith died when his bike collided with a truck.

A 13-year-old Lavender Hill boy who wanted to get away from the gangsterism in the area died while out with his friends.

Cowan Smith was riding his BMX bike with his four friends down the steep hill of Boyes Drive towards Kalk Bay when he collided with a truck on Main Road and was killed on Tuesday November 3.

His distraught mother Colleen Smith said it was a pastime her son loved because he wanted to get out of the community– away from the gang violence and other social ills.

Ms Smith said she was at work when she got the news and went to the congested scene at the busy intersection where she found him lying motionless.

“He was a very sweet child – the only time he was a bit moody was when he was hungry. He and his friends often went riding on their bikes to get out of this (Lavender Hill) environment with all the fighting and gangsterism.

“Since his death so many people have come around to sing his praises and that’s how I will forever remember him. He was a good boy and wanted to be better than the bad things that take place in this community and he wanted the best for his peers,” she said.

She said he had been looking forward to his 14th birthday in March next year.

The Lavender Hill High pupil was hailed as an ambassador and activist because for two years he was part of Limitless Legacy project that teaches skills and hosts programmes.

Co-ordinator Henrietta Du Preez said Cowan’s death was a great loss for the project.

Cowan was active in the organisation and was a communications officer who would liaise about programmes with different schools: “He was a remarkable boy and he applied himself to completely fulfil tasks and help others. We do a domestic violence and gender-based course and he was an activist on that project. I can truly say Cowan was a real ambassador and he was trained in public speaking. We have lost a jewel.”

She encouraged boys to follow and carry on his legacy.

A culpable homicide docket had been opened and will be investigated by Muizenberg police. Police spokesperson Andre Traut said it appeared Cowan was unable to stop when reaching the main road and collided with a truck.

“He was declared dead on the scene,” said police spokesman Andre Traut.