England

Clevedon widow to sue North Yorkshire Council over death

Martyn Uzzell Image copyright Kate Uzzell
Image caption Martyn Uzzell was killed when he was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole in North Yorkshire

The widow of a charity cyclist from Somerset who died when he hit a pothole on his bike, plans to sue a council.

Martyn Uzzell died on the A65 in Giggleswick, when he was thrown into a car's path after hitting the pothole.

An inquest into his death heard North Yorkshire Council had missed opportunities to repair the road.

A council spokeswoman said: "Our sympathies remain with the family of Martyn Uzzell following his tragic fatal accident."

Mr Uzzell, 51, from Clevedon, was on a charity ride from Land's End to John O'Groats with two friends in 2011 when the accident happened.

He died instantly when he was struck by the car.

Sitting at Skipton Magistrates' Court last week, coroner Rob Turnbull recorded a verdict Mr Uzzell died from head injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

'Totally preventable'

Mr Turnbull said he was in "no doubt whatsoever that the condition of the road on that occasion was the cause of the incident".

The inquest heard that before the accident a policeman had reported the pothole to the council, but the message had not been passed on.

Independently, the road had also been inspected by the council and marked as a "noted defect" to be fixed within 30 days.

Kate Uzzell said: "I'm very angry because it was totally preventable. They had been warned, they had inspected and they still did nothing - it's just appalling."

A review by the Crown Prosecution Service concluded the council's failings should not lead to a corporate manslaughter case or any other criminal charge.

In response, Mrs Uzzell said she had been forced to take civil action against the council.

"It's not what I wanted to do," she said.

"[But] I wanted there to be a prosecution and for them to stand up and be counted for what they didn't do."

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