Man due in court over tragic cyclist accident

Lewis Balyckyi
Lewis Balyckyi
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A man has been summonsed to appear before court over the death of a talented Lancashire cyclist who was tipped for the 2012 Olympics.

Leslie Pitblado, 50, of St Annes Road, Leyland, has been called to appear before magistrates, accused of driving without due care and attention in relation to the death of 18-year-old Lewis Balyckyi.

Lewis was training on his bike in Bretherton when he collided with a Ford Transit van in January.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. The former Lostock Hall High School pupil, of Cinnamon Hill Road South, Walton-le-Dale, had been cycling for 10 years and had competed across England and Europe.

He was out training on North Road, Bretherton, at around 5pm on January 18 when the collision occurred.

Speaking at the time, dad Kevin said Lewis was a “born fighter” and “never shied away from any challenge.”

He said: “Lewis was every parent’s dream, he never had a frown on his face, always laughing.

“Whenever he was around the people he was with were uplifted and always felt better for the experience, his cheeky smile winning even the sternest of people over.”

He also described how his son had battled against a stammer by taking a part-time job as a waiter.

Lewis started cycling at the age of eight and was awarded the Warburtons Rising Star Award at Preston Guild Hall.

In the same year he also achieved his goal of becoming Under 16 National Circuit Race Champion, from a field of 70 of the best riders in the country. From there he was a founding member of Team Wallis, where he enjoyed more success.

He was due to start training in France just four weeks after the crash, after winning a place through the John Ibbotson Fund with a French semi-pro team.

Hundreds of people turned to social networking sites such as Facebook to pay tribute to the talented biker after his death.

Pitblado, who has not been charged, will appear before Preston Magistrates Court on August 30.