Pothole causes army cyclist to swerve to his death

Grant Prior 12 years ago
Share

An army officer who had served in Afghanistan died trying to avoid a pothole while cycling in Wiltshire, an inquest has found.

Capt Jonathan Allen, 29, was riding in the rain and dark on the A338 near Tidworth when he was in a collision with a lorry on 24 March.

The pothole had been reported to Wiltshire Council three weeks earlier and inspected, the hearing was told.

The BBC reported that the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Capt Allen, an adjutant in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had completed two tours in Afghanistan.

The hearing, at Wiltshire Coroner’s Court, Salisbury, heard that under the council’s criteria, the pothole was 0.2in (5mm) too shallow and not wide enough to be repaired within seven days.

The hole was one of a series stretching 65.6ft (20m) at the Leckford crossroads, the hearing was told.

Capt Allen suffered serious head injuries in the collision, which happened about eight miles from his home in Burbage.

Ian Singleton, deputy assistant Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner, said: “I believe that on the balance of probabilities, Jonathan did not appreciate his proximity to the degraded road surface and as a result of this he fell from his bicycle into the path of an articulated lorry.”

Rosanna Curling, Capt Allen’s girlfriend, said in a statement that he “hated” cycling from the barracks in Tidworth to his house.

She said: “He was fine in the summer but hated it when it was dark and complained about the many potholes.”

Peter Hanson, Wiltshire Council’s highways manager, said the A338 was inspected once a month.

He told the hearing the last inspection was on 17 March and no defects were found where the crash happened.

He added that adverse winter weather could have caused the area to deteriorate within 24 hours.

A member of the public reported the pothole on 2 March, he said.

Hanson said the hole was inspected but was not considered deep enough to repair and a note was made for future maintenance.

The day after Capt Allen’s death, the pothole was inspected again and at 1.4in (35mm), was still not considered deep enough, he said.

He said it needed to be 1.6in (40mm) to be repaired.

The pothole was fixed two days after the accident.

Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council said in a statement: “On behalf of Wiltshire Council, I am deeply saddened by the whole incident and would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Capt Jonathan Allen’s family and friends.

“I have requested that we carry out an internal investigation into our systems to ensure that Wiltshire’s roads are as safe as possible.”

Latest news

Investment giant buys Bristol M&E contractor

RDCP Infrastructure acquires Avon Combined Electrical Services
38 mins ago

Demolition start for £50m Farnworth town centre rebuild

Caddick Construction is tipped for main works due to start in the spring
17 mins ago

L&G Modular strikes deal to build 1,000 affordable homes

Modular homes business teams up with Hampshire's Vivid housing association
19 mins ago

Former Erith operations director joins John F Hunt

Scott Exell named new operations director at demolition specialist John F Hunt
8 hours ago

Green light for £135m Leeds twin tower resi scheme

Construction to start in New Year on 500 build-to-rent apartments
16 hours ago

Mace hits 1m tonnes carbon saving target for clients

Present work pipeline betters 2026 carbon emission saving target
11 hours ago

Plans in for £40m surf park at former Kent colliery

Seahive surf lagoon and health resort will be built near Deal
24 hours ago

Crushed demolition worker vows to return to industry

Shannon Brasier hoping to return to construction following horror accident
24 hours ago

Mount Anvil to start 900-home North London estate rebuild

Planning approval paves way for Barnsbury Estate rebuild in Islington
24 hours ago

Green light for major laboratory campus in Cambridge

Developer BioMed to tender first building on 600,000 sq ft lab complex in the New Year
1 day ago

Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit

Fibrus to hook-up rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under £108m deal
23 hours ago

McLaren wins Leeds logistics park contract

Work to start imminently on warehouse complex for Firethorn Trust
2 days ago

Work restarts on £683m waste power plant after site death

Construction suspended for a week of investigations following fatality
2 days ago

Demolition starts on £135m Wigan Galleries scheme

Contractor BCEGI starts work on project to redevelop Wigan town centre
2 days ago

Amey CEO to step down following private equity buyout

Amanda Fisher to leave once business is transferred to new owners
2 days ago

New body set up to vet plant operator card schemes

Contractor trades bodies unite to tackle competency concerns over plant operator skills cards
2 days ago

Kier leads switch to hybrid battery generators

Battery units work alongside smaller generators cutting run times by nearly 60%
2 days ago

Plans in for first Leeds co-living scheme

Watkin Jones submits plan to convert old Direct Line HQ into 230 studio flats
2 days ago

Demolition worker crushed by excavator

Court hears 20-year-old woman was left with "life changing injuries"
3 days ago

Government pays £700m for 50% stake in Sizewell C

New body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up to develop pipeline of nuclear projects
3 days ago

Costain wins Heathrow Airport asset renewal deal

Firm takes early contractor involvement role in Terminal 2 baggage handling upgrade
3 days ago

Worker killed on £683m waste power plant site

Fatal collision involving heavy goods vehicle on giant north London site
3 days ago

HS2 JV shifts four Wembley Stadiums of earth in record time

EKFB team digs and hauls 15 million cu m of muck in 20 months
3 days ago

Milestone wins £300m Wiltshire highways upkeep

Ringway will hand over to Milestone in March next year
3 days ago

Low-risk business model helps Renew post record results

Renew reveals latest acquisition with £15.6m purchase of water specialist Enisca
3 days ago

London Albert Embankment hotel towers approved

Two separate hotels rising to 26 and 29 storeys approved
3 days ago

Keltbray names new director of strategic engineering

Tim Lohmann takes up newly-formed role to drive innovative engineering solutions
3 days ago

Go-ahead for £200m lithium refinery on Teesside

Work to start next year on Europe's first lithium hydroxide processing plant
4 days ago

HS2 agency workers paid the wrong wages

Payroll software problems leave workers out of pocket
4 days ago

Electric car whizz joins O’Rourke

Contractor looking to learn tech lessons from other sectors
4 days ago

Contractor services