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Kirkstall Road: Family of John Harkins speaks

The family of a man who died following a collision in Kirkstall Road on Monday night have spoken about their loss.

John Harkins, 33, from Kirkstall, died in the incident on Kirkstall Road late on Monday night when a silver Volkswagen Golf, which was travelling towards the city centre, hit the 33-year-old cyclist.

Mr Harkins was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Golf overturned and came to rest in a parade of shops, causing significant damage to two premises on Kirkstall Road. The driver of the Golf, a 22-year-old man, was seriously injured and was taken to Leeds General Infirmary.

Two men travelling in a Volkswagen Passat also believed to have been involved in the incident were released on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Harkins was a founder and coach at Leeds cheerleading programme Aviator Allstar Cheer, based in Lockwood Court.

In a statement, his family said:

“The devastating loss of John has left a void in all our lives. He was a gentle giant loving and caring of all he met. He excelled in everything he set his mind to, from education, to sport, to being the most fabulous son, brother and uncle a family could wish for.

“The outpouring of love and respect for him from his family, school friends, his cheerleading family and work colleagues from across the globe, has provided a ray of light and showed the true scale of his kind and caring nature.

“He has touched the lives of so many people and his families both home and away are devastated by the news.”

Video warning

Police, meanwhile, have warned social media users not to share a graphic video of the incident.

Sergeant Ann Drury, of West Yorkshire Police Major Collision Enquiry team, said:

“We are aware of very graphic video footage taken by bystanders at the fatal road traffic collision in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, on Monday night, that is being shared on social media.

“We would ask that those who have posted such footage and those who are considering sharing it further think very carefully about the impact this will have on the family of the man who died and to show them suitable respect at what is clearly a very difficult time.”



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