1. ITV Report

Cyclist dies after hitting pothole

A triathlete and mother-of-three has died after her bicycle hit a pothole and she was thrown into the path of an oncoming car.

It has now been revealed that the pothole was due to be filled in two months earlier, but the wrong pothole was repaired instead. The fatal crash happened when Kate Vanloo, a keen triathlete, was cycling near her home in Napton, Warwickshire, in January 2016.

The pothole was hidden by a puddle that spanned across the whole road.

Kate Vanloo died after her bicycle hit a pothole. Credit: BPM Media

An inquest into the 52-year-old's death led to the assistant coroner for Warwickshire demanding that Warwickshire County Council take action to reduce the delays in repairing potholes in the county.

In my opinion urgent action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you and your organisation have the power to take such action.

The action should include an explanation of the steps you have taken to speed up the time it takes to repair potholes once they have been identified and what steps you have taken to track the progress of work orders that have been sent to Balfour Beatty Living Places for action.

– John Buckley, assistant coroner for Warwickshire

The inquest heard that the pothole was around 10 centimetres deep. Kate was unable to avoid it due to oncoming traffic.

The pothole was due to be repaired two months earlier, but the person tasked with carrying out the repair works from CR MacDonald Limited could not locate the pothole - despite having GPS co-ordinates, two maps and a photograph of the hole showing a nearby farm as a point of reference.

They had been given the official street name but could not locate it using a sat-nav device.

The person who was supposed to carry out the repair instead filled in a pothole on a different road some three miles away.

Kate was a keen triathlete. Credit: BPM Media

Following the inquest Kate’s family said in a statement:

Kate and her husband Julian had three wonderful boys who were always, and remain, a credit to them both.

Although Kate is no longer with us and can’t share the delights of watching her children grow, the family will always keep her memory alive.

Kate died doing something that became her passion in life, she was aware of the risks, but she believed that life should be lived to the full and she lived and died doing just that.

It is crucial that those responsible for maintaining the roads make sure that they are fit for purpose, for all road users, but specifically cyclists as its popularity continues to increase each year.

We hope that Warwickshire County Council, and all local councils across the UK, will take the issue of potholes more seriously and make repairs a priority to ensure that everyone can use the roads safely."

– Family statement