Family's touching tribute for son killed in bike accident
A FORMER Sunshine Coast man has been killed after he suffered a massive brain injury from falling from his bicycle in Sydney earlier this month.
James Roberts was wearing a safety helmet at the time of his fall, but it was not enough protection to save him.
Now, his parents have issued a warning to other cyclists to be vigilant while riding and be aware that helmets aren't always enough.
"Our beautiful son, James Edwin Roberts, ex-Nambour and Burnside High School student in the 1980s, son of Lorraine and Bob Roberts, was killed in an incomprehensible, tragic accident when he fell from his bicycle on February 11 because of a mechanical failure," his parents said.
"Though wearing a safety helmet, he still sustained a massive brain injury.
"The police believe that sadly too many people become complacent, thinking that a helmet will protect them from receiving serious head injuries."
James worked at the Sydney Opera House as a state mechanist for the past 16 years, and was studying at the National Arts School.
He was due to start a Master of Fine Arts that he intended to follow up with a PhD.
James had planned to return to Nambour to take care of ageing parents as soon as his studies were complete.
"We hope James' friends will remember him as the fun-loving, kind and caring soul that he is," the Roberts family said.
"Some may remember James as a friend performing a piece about saving the trees in the forecourt of the Nambour Council and Library in 1984.
"As well as his interest in the environment, James was a member of the Palmwoods Players theatre group, appearing in Cinderella and working on set design.
"His prize-winning characterisation performance of King Henry V in our local Eisteddfod may be remembered.
"James' many other interests included a passion for vintage objects and a wide taste in music. James was an advocate for the fair go and had a special interest in and empathy with people who were struggling."
James was a much-loved son and will be greatly missed by his parents Robert and Lorraine, his sister Muria and niece Amyra as well as his wide circle of family and friends.
The family has urged all cyclists to be careful while riding.
"Safety helmets cannot always provide full protection," he said.
The Roberts family is working on a book to honour James' life and gift as an artist.
Anyone who knew James and wishes to contributed anecdotes for publication in the book and to later obtain a copy can contact his parents at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.