MEMBERS of the TT Cycling Federation (TTCF), the Route 2 Maxi Taxi Association and the TT Tourist Transport Service Association joined friends and family of 40-year-old maxi driver and cyclist Aaron Andrew Thomas at his funeral yesterday.
Thomas was killed by a hit-and-run driver on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway last Sunday.
During the service held at the Spoken Word Tabernacle in El Socorro, Devlin Roberts, representing the TTCF and his own club, PSL Cycling Club, pleaded with road users to be aware while using the road, and to remember that drivers are not the only people who have rights.
“I want to appeal to the drivers in TT: the road also belongs to cyclists,” Roberts said. “I know the Government is doing its part and the police are doing theirs, but the police cannot be everywhere. People have to be courteous and they have to respect other citizens and they have to drive on the road with due care.”
Roberts also told the congregation that days after Thomas’s death, he had to speak to a taxi driver who was driving on the shoulder, and remind him that one of his own had been killed because of the same reckless behaviour.
Roberts went on to echo the sentiments of the other associations as well as friends and family, who all described Thomas as quiet, helpful, good-natured, determined and devoted to everything he took part in.
“I knew him for five years. He made a great contribution to the club,” Roberts said.
The Maxi Taxi Association and the TT Tourist Transport Service Association also sang his praises. Maxi Taxi Association representatives said he was a driver whom all other drivers should aspire to be like, and the Tourist Transport Service Association representatives said he knew every tour he led like the back of his hand.
Last Sunday, at about 7 am, Thomas was riding with the Madonna Wheelers Cycling Club, along the Cumuto road.
He stopped at the intersection between Cumuto Road and the highway, waiting for his group, when the driver of a white Nissan Navarra overtook a car on the shoulder and slammed into him. He died on the spot.
The driver did not stop. The Navarra was later found abandoned in La Horquetta, but after a search police found and arrested the driver, who was later identified as a soldier.