Motorist begs for forgiveness for cyclists deaths

25 May 2018 - 13:40 By Jeff Wicks
Omesh Ramnarain. File photo
Omesh Ramnarain. File photo

Omesh Ramnarain‚ convicted on two counts of culpable homicide after crashing into cyclists Richard da Silva and Jarred Dwyer in 2016‚ pleaded for forgiveness from the cyclists’ families before he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Ramnarain‚ 32‚ sobbed as he addressed the families in the Durban Regional Court.

Magistrate Anand Maharaj sentenced Ramnarain to five years in jail for each count of culpable homicide and that these terms would run consecutively.

His driver’s license was suspended for a year. An application for leave to appeal was granted but bail pending the outcome of the court action was refused.

In his defence prior to his conviction‚ Ramnarain said he had not seen the cyclists‚ who were on the M4 Ruth First freeway on a training ride.

The businessman said he had been following a car which had swerved at the last minute‚ before his windscreen shattered.

He said he didn’t know whether his windscreen shattered because a rock was thrown at it. In a plea statement read into the court record during the initial stages of the trial‚ Ramnarain gave his version of events that led to the deaths of the two men.

He said he had drunk four bottles of cider but was adamant that he was not drunk. “I was not under the influence of alcohol at the time and drove myself and my friend onto the M4 toward Umhlanga Rocks‚" he said in his statement.

He said he had been following another car as they traveled north. “After the car [he had been following] almost passed the Swapo Road [formerly Broadway Road] off-ramp it suddenly swerved left toward the glide-off‚ moving onto the glide-off at the last possible moment.

"I continued straight in my lane and moments later heard a loud bang and my windscreen shattered. I braked and moved toward the left and heard another bang... I could not see out of my smashed windscreen‚” Ramnarain said.