The widow of a cyclist killed after hitting a pothole, while taking part in a charity ride, has received a compensation payout that has totalled six figures. A four-inch deep pothole threw Martyn Uzzell into the path of an oncoming vehicle, killing him instantly, while he was taking part in a charity bike ride from Lands End to John o’ Groats.
Prior to the unfortunate event, council members sent out workers to inspect the pothole. This was because police had identified it as a potential hazard in the road. However, the council decided that no action was necessary.
During the inquest last year the coroner identified the pothole as being the cause of the accident, stating ‘no doubt’ on the matter. The pothole was on the A65 near Giggleswick in North Yorkshire.
The council actually inspected the road twice just prior to the tragic accident, but no notice was given to The Highways Authority regarding the state of the road or any potential hazards.
Mr Uzzell was thrown from his bike into the path of an oncoming car, and suffered fatal head injuries. An out of court settlement has been reached by Mr Uzzell’s widow, Kate Uzzell, with North Yorkshire County Council.
No responsibility on council’s part
The council has not agreed it is responsible for the accident and Mr Uzzell’s death, and has instead chosen to make the settlement. However, the coroner and Mrs Uzzell have both made it clear that the accident was preventable.
Mrs Uzzell, speaking to The Mail Online, had this to say: “It is simply disgraceful that a pothole on such a busy road was allowed to go unrepaired. This should not have happened. My husband was an experienced cyclist and was out doing what he loved, while raising money for charities close to his heart, but it has cost him his life. ‘I am told a policeman had reported the pothole on two occasions to the council but nothing was done. The road was also inspected monthly as it is an A-road, but despite the danger being recorded in May it wasn’t repaired.”
The Crown Prosecution Service has concluded that the council should not face any corporate manslaughter charges as a result of the death of Mr. Uzzell.
No details have been released regarding the exact amount Mrs Uzzell received from the council.
Have you been injured as a cyclist?
Cyclists are particularly vulnerable as they don’t have the added protection of metal framework around them like other drivers do. If you have been injured as a cyclist due to a pothole, damaged roads or another driver then you might be able to claim.
Give Accident Advice Helpline a call to find out more. Our advisers are available on 0800 689 0500 which you can call for free from your land line, or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile.
If you just want to find out if you’re eligible then fill in our 30-second test. You’ll even get a rough guideline of how much you may be able to get in compensation should you make a claim.