Family, friends stunned at Uitenhage man’s death in head-on collision
Friends waiting at a rally for a popular Uitenhage biker were devastated when they learnt that he had been killed in a crash on the way there.
Father of three Deon Williams, 55, who had been on his way to the Ratel Rally at the Springs Holiday Resort, died in a head-on collision with a Mercedes-Benz at about 9am on Saturday.
The accident happened on the Graaff-Reinet Road near Vanes Estate. Friends waiting for Williams to arrive at the rally were shocked when one of the organisers was called to the accident scene to identify the body.
Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said details of the accident were still sketchy.
She said the elderly occupants of the Mercedes-Benz, a husband and wife aged 79 and 71, were being treated in hospital.
Williams’s cousin, Ire Meyer-Clarke, 57, said he had become something of a legend in Uitenhage.
She said the family had been inundated with calls and messages of condolence. “Even if you did not know Deon personally, you knew of him,” she said.
“He was a stalwart in the biking community.”
Meyer-Clarke said Williams had introduced her to biking when she was just 12.
“Bikes run in our family. Pretty much everyone owned bikes. And Deontjie absolutely lived for riding.”
She said he had developed kidney problems in recent years and suffered from constant pain.
“Knowing him, he would probably have preferred to die riding his bike rather than somewhere in a hospital due to health issues.”
Meyer-Clarke said the funeral arrangements were still being discussed by Williams’s wife, Chanene, 55, sons Jason, 30, and Brandon, 29, and daughter Chantelle, 32.
Fanie de Jager, 55, said he was struggling to accept his friend’s death.
“He was there [at the rally] on Friday, buying gloves and badges for friends.
“We went there again on Saturday, expecting him to show up, but then we heard the news of his accident.”
De Jager said Williams embodied biking, always wearing sleeveless vests, gloves with the fingers cut open, and ripped jeans.
“His two biggest loves in this world were his family and his bike. He had his children’s names tattooed on his arms.”
Ratel Rally organiser Eddie Hall said this was the first fatality they had had in five years.