Journo killed on SA bike launch
TRAGEDY HITS THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD: Kevin Ash was well respected in the automotive world and is a tragic loss for the motorcycle media following his death in South Africa.
A veteran British motorcycle journalist was killed in an accident during the official launch of the BMW R1200GS near George.
Daily Telegraph correspondent Kevin Ash (53), was killed while testing the R1200GS motorcycle as part of a two-day test ride. It's believed the incident took place during the test drive.
An official statement released by BMW read: "It is with deep regret that BMW Motorrad confirms the fatal injury of Kevin Ash in a motorcycle accident during a launch event in South Africa."
"The accident happened to the north of a town called George, 250km east of Cape Town. Out of respect for Kevin's family and friends, no further information is being made available at this time."
Cycle World Editor-in-Chief Mark Hoyer was reportedly at the scene approximately ten minutes after the accident.
According to Cycle World, Hoyer said: “I worked on him with another American who also had some medical training and then I assisted the medics. He looked like he was going to be okay. He appeared to have suffered a broken humerus and/or shoulder.
"We put him on a backboard when the medics arrived about 30-40 minutes after I contacted the second patient.”
Adrian Roderick, general manager of BMW Motorrad UK, said: "We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news about Kevin Ash; one of the most well-liked, experienced and respected journalists in the extremely close-knit motorcycle community.
"Losing Kevin is a tragedy which will be felt across the entire industry. He was a friend, as much as a journalist, and will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this awful time."
RESPECTED IN THE INDUSTRY
According to the Daily Mail, Ash was a columnist for Motorcycle News and ran his own motorcycle news website, Ash On Bikes.
Ash's daughter released the following statement on her father's website: "Kevin Ash passed away due to a motorcycle accident during a press launch in South Africa.
"As his oldest daughter, I only recently started to fully realise just how much further his parenting went than most; on receiving a tearful phone call at Stanstead airport it was a natural response to immediately cancel his press launch and ride back home to teach trigonometry the night before exams.
"Everything he did was entirely for his children and his wife, and a little bit for his cat. My parents loved each other very much and I hope that one day we can learn to live without him."
Ash had worked as a motorcycle journalist since 1990 and was involved in the launch of Fast Bikes and later worked for Motor Cycle News. He has published several books, including BMW Motorcycles: The Evolution of Excellence and Ducati People: Looking into the lives of the men and women behind this legendary marque.
The rest of the international media launch was later cancelled.