Crash victim was promising cyclist

Lewis Balyckyi
Lewis Balyckyi

Tributes have poured in for a teenage cyclist killed in a collision with a van in a Chorley village.

Former Lostock Hall High School pupil Lewis Balyckyi, 18, who had been tipped to compete in the 2012 Olympics, was killed in an accident while out training on North Road, Bretherton, at around 5pm on Tuesday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His dad Kevin told how his son was ‘born a fighter’ and had ‘never shied away from any challenge’.

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

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

“He was a fighter from the moment he was born, eight weeks prematurely, he blossomed into the strapping man that he was, the fittest person I knew, and a resolve like no other.”

Kevin said his son battled against a stammer ‘with typical vigour’ by taking a part-time job as a waiter.

He added: “From the age of eight he raced his bicycle all over the country, discovering a flair for winning that inspired his competitors to push themselves harder than they ever thought possible, although he was always down to earth and willing to help and give advice to whoever asked for it, even to his own detriment.”

For the full story, see this week’s Leyland Guardian.