Triathlete died when her bike hit a pothole
A triathlete died after being thrown off her bike by a pothole which a council had failed to fix, an inquest heard. Kate Vanloo, 52, was near her home when she rode into the hole, which was hidden by a puddle spanning the road. The mum-of-three was flung into the path of a car and died at the scene in January 2016.
Ms Vanloo’s inquest heard how the blundering repair team for the council had failed to fill the four-inch deep crater as they were unable to find it. Now a damning report has been published outlining how the tarmac contractor for Tory-controlled Warwickshire County Council was unable to locate the hole despite having a sat-nav device, photos of it and two maps two months before the tragedy. Instead, the bungling worker filled in a pothole on a different road some three miles away. In the Prevention of Future Deaths report, Warwickshire assistant coroner John Buckley said: ‘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.’
Now Ms Vanloo’s family, from Napton-on-the-Hill, Warwickshire, have welcomed the report. Bethany Sanders, associate solicitor from law firm Leigh Day’s, who represented the family, said: ‘Following the coroner’s conclusion and Prevention of Future Deaths report, we will now be investigating further legal action against the council as the body responsible for repairing the road. ‘The tragic death of Kate shows the devastation that potholes can cause when they are left unrepaired.
‘We welcome the Prevention of Future Deaths report produced by the Coroner and we hope that the council will take the action requested to speed up repairs and ensure that they take responsibility for tracking the progress of repairs. ‘Potholes pose a danger to all those who use the roads, particularly cyclists, and we urge the Government to recognise this danger and revise their guidance to ensure that councils have effective and efficient systems in place to complete repairs swiftly.’