Toy run ends in death for biker

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By Daneel Knoetze

A day of charitable fun ended in tragedy last night, with the death of a motorcyclist heading home from the Toy Run.

Clinton “Chingy” Hess, a business owner from Mitchells Plain, was declared dead by paramedics after his motorcycle and a blue Toyota sedan collided on Lansdowne Road, near Philippi police station.

Hess died at the scene.

“Our officers responded to the scene. I cannot at this point speculate as to the cause and circumstances of the crash, but a case of culpable homicide has been opened,” said Lieutenant Lance Goliath, spokesman for Philippi police.

Hess had attended a gathering of about 15 000 bikers at Maynardville Park in Wynberg as part of this year’s Toy Run, the largest motorcycling-related charity event in southern Africa.

TRULY TRAGIC

“For us this is truly tragic; our condolences go out to the family. It’s very sad that such a great event was followed by such an unfortunate incident,” said Glynis Coetzee, spokeswoman for the Toy Run.

Hess had enjoyed being part of the tight-knit community of bikers in Cape Town and he had regularly supported the annual charity drive, said his father-in-law, Lindsay Thomas.

Thomas described Hess as a “loving father and family man” and a “larger-than-life” character.

“He rebounded from a life of adversity as a child to become a successful businessman, a good father and a provider for his family. Whatever he did, he succeeded in it.

“The family is still numb and in disbelief about what happened. He will leave a great void in all of our hearts, especially in those of his wife and two children,” Thomas said.

Hess’s family had joined him at Maynardville, but had returned home to Mitchells Plain an hour or two before he did.

Hess had uploaded a photo of his motorcycle on his Facebook page on Friday, accompanied by a caption expressing his excitement about the weekend’s biking.

About 30 000 toys were donated or collected by bikers yesterday. These will be handed out as Christmas presents to less fortunate children across the country. The Toy Run is held in at least 19 centres around the country and was started in 1982 by the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club. -Cape Argus

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