Blackwood man charged after death of cyclist

10:26am Friday 29th November 2013

A BLACKWOOD man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving following a collision earlier this year which left a cyclist dead.

The 43-year-old, who has not been named, was yesterday charged after a collision between a minibus and a cyclist on the A472 at Newbridge on Sunday, July 21, at around 8.05pm.

Owain Richard James, a 30-year-old from Oakdale, later died in hospital.

Soon after his death, Mr James’ best friend paid a glowing tribute to the tragic cyclist, describing him as a man who inspired many.

Best friend Graham Kirby-Smith, 31, described him as a man who inspired many to become better people when he spoke the Argus in July.

He said: “Owain was a great friend to me personally, particularly in the way he treated me when I shared some big personal issues of my own and I don’t think anyone could ever have a better friend than him.

“I greatly miss Owain, and I feel blessed to have known him as my friend.”

The pair first met through the Methodist Society, when Mr Kirby-Smith was in his second year at Aberystwyth University.

“I don’t remember how our friendship began exactly, but what struck me very early on was his humility,” he said.

They later went on to share a flat together with another friend, which is where Mr Kirby-Smith said he noticed what a “deep thinker “ Mr James was.

“He has opened my mind to perspectives I’d never come across before, and opened my eyes to see and appreciate things I’d never noticed,” he said.

“He cared deeply about things that really mattered and always yearned to do the right thing.

“He aspired to be more like other people who he looked up to, and, though he wouldn’t agree, I think many people aspired to be more like him.”

The driver has been bailed to appear at Caerphilly Magistrates Court on December 12.

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