Broken Terenure parents talk about their son’s electrocution

THE 'Gentle Giant' reffing at a church's soccer and volleyball league about two years ago.
THE 'Gentle Giant' reffing at a church's soccer and volleyball league about two years ago.

LLOYD Tiley started his first year at the International Hotel School in Sunninghill on January 18.

He would have studied a culinary arts course for the next three years, which would have led him towards his dream of being a chef, owning a chain of restaurants.

But that dream came to an end on February 12 when he was electrocuted while walking home. That night Shane and Cheryl Tiley of Terenure lost their only son – a day before his 19th birthday.

On the night of February 12, Tiley had gone to a Valentine’s party organised by his school for first-year students in Sunninghill. He was electrocuted by exposed live wires hanging from an electricity pole while walking down the street. He and a group of friends had taken a walk to nearby shops when the fateful incident happened.

“We got the phone call a few minutes after 10pm and got to the scene in a flash,” Cheryl said.

“Upon arrival, paramedics were working on him and a number of people had come to the scene. Everyone was so sweet and supportive. One of his friends went to a nearby garage to buy tea.”

However, Tiley was declared dead on the scene by paramedics. Everyone stayed by his side until about 2am, waiting for a mortuary vehicle to take his body away.

That night, he had been supposed to sleep over at his friends’ flat near the school to avoid him driving after a night of partying. Always taught to be responsible, Tiley had packed a couple of mattresses onto the back of his van so he and friends could sleep comfortably at the flat.

“We always reinforced the importance of not driving under the influence. If he knew he’d be drinking, we told him he either sleeps over or he calls us to fetch him – wherever he was, he knew he could call at 2am and we would fetch him. As long as he was safe,” an emotional Cheryl said.

The 18-year-old Terenure teen was also an avid fan of football. If you weren’t an Orlando Pirates or Arsenal fan, you couldn’t be friends, he would joke. For years, he played for Edenvale Football Club where he also started coaching and refereeing Easterns matches.

According to Shane and Cheryl, the new cooking venture in his life made him a “completely new person”.

“From the get-go he enjoyed himself. He was having the best time of his life. He would get out of bed bright and early and by 6am he had fed the dogs – he was so excited to go to school.”

And thanks to his natural flair for drawing people in and his pleasant character, Lloyd soon made many friends at his new school.

“He used to say he would be a reffing chef. He would at least get exercise from the football to balance out all the food he would be eating from the cooking,” Cheryl laughed, remembering her son’s humour.

Growing up an only child, Tiley made many close friends he considered his brothers and sisters.

“If Lloyd decided to be your friend, you would be in trouble because you would be his friend for life,” Cheryl said with a smile.

His parents described how he would always go the extra mile to make someone else feel better. From helping schoolmates make friends to helping collect old soccer kits for less fortunate children.

Although he was taller than most his friends and a lot of people, he treated everyone equally.

“It didn’t matter if you were 10 or 60, he treated everybody the same. He just got along with everybody: no one was older than him and no one was younger than him – he spoke the same way to everybody. He was a very humble child,” his father Shane said.

According to his friends, if anyone had a problem or with something they were going through, Tiley would find a song on the internet relevant to the person’s situation, download it and send it to the person to help them feel better.

“That was just the kind of person our son was, he was a referee and chef by choice, and a psychologist by calling.”

One of Tiley’s friends was in a bad space, and Tiley sent her a song by Australian artist Xavier Rudd called “Follow The Sun”. Listen to it below:

 

Both parents have described the freak accident as “careless and senseless”.

Since the incident, no one from Joburg City Power has contacted the couple to apologise or offer condolences for the loss of their son.

“All we hear are their representatives speaking in radio interviews about the incident and that they are investigating, but none of them have called us or even send condolences via radio and other interviews to apologise.”

Tiley’s parents are still undecided on what action to take, if any, against the company.

“If anything, all we would like is to prevent something like this from happening to anyone else. This should never have happened.”

A memorial service will be held for Tiley on Saturday at Curro Serengeti, his former high school. There will be no funeral service as his body had been cremated.

  AUTHOR
Nolwazi Dhlamini
Senior Journalist

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