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Tragic end to charity challenge in memory of lost friend

Cyclist dies raising money for research into disease that claimed life of pal

A charity cycling and running challenge in memory of a young life lost has itself ended in tragedy with the death of one of the participants.

Gareth Crockett, a man in his late twenties from Moira, County Down in Northern Ireland, died yesterday after being struck by a car while cycling on Anglesey. He was on the fourth leg of an endurance challenge, dubbed the Bel-don Challenge,  undertaken to raise money for research into leukaemia, the disease that last year took the life of his friend John Erwin, 26, who also came from Moira.

Together with another friend of John's, Jez Davison, Gareth had run a marathon in Belfast before cycling to Dublin where the pair ran a second marathon distance. Their plan or arriving in Holyhead had been to ride to Bristol where they would run a third marathon before riding to London and completing the challenge by taking part in the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.

Tragically they never got off Anglesey, as Gareth and Jez were in a group of five cyclists when Gareth was struck by a Vauxhall Corsa being driven by a 77-year-old man, also travelling eastbound on the A55 dual carriageway near Llangefni.

A local man, 18-year-old Andrew Winston-Jones and his mother Ruth came across the scene shortly after the incident. They called the emergency services and attempted to render assistance.

Andrew told the Daily Post: “It was an awful, awful scene. My mum held the man’s hand and tried to comfort him, while me and some other people tried to put him in the recovery position and administer first aid.

"The other cyclists appeared to be in shock. My thoughts go out to his family. It’s a scene I will never forget,” he added.

An air ambulance was despatched to the scene but Gareth was pronounced dead by paramedics at the crash location. The car driver was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, with knee and ankle injuries.

If you wish to give to the cause that Gareth and Jez were supporting, you can do so at their Just Giving web page.

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