A young, vibrant life wasted

LEWIS Hendey's family is pleading with drivers to pay more attention on the road and better respect cyclists so no family has to experience the pain they are in.

Lewis was killed four days after Christmas as he cycled along the West Tamar Highway when a car, travelling in the same direction, collided with him.

Police believe that the accident was caused by driver inattention.

His family farewelled him at a funeral two weeks ago, which was held a day before Lewis was due to celebrate his 22nd birthday.

His death meant that Lewis would no longer be able to attend his older sister Clarissa's wedding in six weeks.

He would miss out on a planned sailing trip with his best mates to New Zealand and complete his pilot's licence.

He would miss out on plans to work in Antarctica when he finished his electrical apprenticeship to complement his trade as a refrigeration mechanic.

Father Charlie said his son was always full of energy and life, so much so, he bounced when he walked.

``I'm still expecting Lewis to walk around the corner,'' he said.

``It's really hard for it to sink in that this has happened to him, and to us.

``We're struggling but we are getting through each day.''

Mr Hendey said the family would refer to Lewis as ``Action Man'' because of his sense of adventure and desire to explore and enjoy all aspects of life.

``He always knew what he was going to do and always had a next project planned even before the current one had ended,'' he said.

``He was always thinking one or two years in advance.''

His sister Clarissa lamented that his tragic death had halted all his ambitions.

``Lewis's life has been ruined because he doesn't get to do all the things that he wanted to do, and it's ruined our lives and his friends' lives,'' she said.

His mother Debbie said the wider community had also lost a valuable person; a person who felt inclined to contribute to the greater good and who insisted on returning favours to those who had helped him.

She said he was well-respected by friends who considered him a ``voice of reason''.

Mrs Hendey asked motorists to take better care of cyclists on the road.

``They are legally allowed to be on the road and that needs to be respected,'' she said.

``You see people do some bizarre things around cyclists because they get impatient while driving behind them.

``It might save them 10 seconds to pass them but they could risk a life.''

Mr Hendey said the family's tragedy was proof that a few seconds of distraction can end a life.

``We hope what has happened to us changes a few people's attitudes and have them recognise that it only takes a few seconds to end someone's life on the road,'' he said.

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