Pothole causes army cyclist to swerve to his death

Grant Prior 14 years ago

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

Costain moves HQ to London’s Can of Ham

Contractor makes return to London from Maidenhead base
6 hours ago

Historic breakthrough for HS2’s longest tunnel drive

TBM Florence ends of her 10 mile journey under the Chilterns
10 hours ago

Careys back in profit after £47m turnaround

Contracting division back in profit ahead of three-year growth plan
15 hours ago

Willmott Dixon exits stage left from Essex theatre contract

Contract re-tendering shines spotlight on growing schism between contractors and clients
22 hours ago

Former Keltbray highways MD joins McAlpine

Vip Gandhi takes lead role at Transport division
18 hours ago

Purpose build student schemes to surge again

Unite assembles record £1.3bn pipeline as fall in HMO supply boosts PBSA sector
21 hours ago

Bidding starts for £1.4bn Midlands Rail Hub Alliance

Alliance will deliver upgrades to rail lines and stations around Birmingham and nearby towns
22 hours ago

Brickability sounds warning over materials demand

Distributor sees lower sales lasting for longer before house building recovers
21 hours ago

English Cities Fund raises extra £200m for work pipeline

Muse, Homes England, L&G partnership to double in size
22 hours ago

Go-ahead for 64 homes at former Glasgow Coliseum theatre

Robertson-owned developer Urban Union to build four housing blocks at site
21 hours ago

Competition probe launched into 8 major house builders

Cartel watchdog says volume house builders may have exchanged competitively sensitive information
2 days ago

Cement-free concrete firm falls into administration

DB Group also owned Pudlo waterproofing products
2 days ago

Everton Stadium now structurally complete

Laing O'Rourke lifts final concrete terrace section into place
2 days ago

HS2 launches third London Northolt tunnel TBM

1,700 tonne machine begins 3.4mile dig under the capital
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon set for Manchester science park job

Contractor understood to be in final stages of talks to land £75m Greenheys building
5 days ago

Transport jobs get £4.7bn of cancelled HS2 cash

Government details funding for North and Midlands from 2025
2 days ago

Stewart Milne went down owing supply chain £153m

So far 1,375 firms have come forward with unpaid bills
6 days ago

Didcot disaster investigation enters its ninth year

Still no answers for families of quartet killed in demolition collapse
5 days ago

Mount Anvil wins £275m Westminster estate renewal

First phase of Church Street area regeneration will deliver 400 new homes and a library
5 days ago

Trio of A47 road upgrades to go-ahead as legal challenge fails

20-month delay adds tens of millions to dualling costs
5 days ago

Skanska and Morgan Sindall win £277m duo of Cambridge jobs

Railpen awards £200m Botanic Place and £77m Devonshire Gardens office jobs
6 days ago

Offsite specialist Merit sees profits grow

Contractor sees further growth in turnover and profits
5 days ago

Morgan Sindall delivers another record year of profit

Revenue tops £4bn as pre-tax profit soars 70% to £144m
6 days ago

Galliford Try nets two pipelines and road job worth £98m

Firm wins £64m of Thames Water pipelines and Halifax road improvements
5 days ago

HS2 viaduct blunder over wonky concrete segments

Align JV now drilling out concrete joint as part of week-long remedial work
7 days ago

City of London hots up as 9m sq ft under construction

Investors return to City as "10 Cheesgraters" of floorspace under construction
6 days ago

Four arrested in £140m property fraud probe

Serious Fraud Office investigating collapse of property developer Signature Group
7 days ago

McLaren gets green light for 31-storey student tower

Revamp of historic Birmingham site will provide 759 student beds and 189 apartments
6 days ago

BT Tower to become hotel

New owner MCR Hotels to transform iconic building
6 days ago

Plans in for first phase of £1.7bn ID Manchester

Plan to reinvent 1960s Renold Building as a new innovation hub
6 days ago

Contractor services