Partner of cyclist killed in Manchester nearly run over as she lay flowers at the scene

Gemma Gooden plans to sue driver and is urging Manchester City Council to improve 30mph signage

by Simon_MacMichael   June 22, 2014  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

The partner of a cyclist killed in Manchester last year by a speeding car on a slip road leading to Mancunian Way says she was nearly run over while laying flowers at the scene. Gemma Gooden is urging Manchester City Council to improve signage at the location, and plans to sue the driver involved.

Earlier this month, a coroner’s inquest heard that Jaye Bloomfield, aged 37, died from serious head and chest injuries sustained when she was hit by a car as she made her way across a pedestrian crossing, straddling her bike, in August last year.

Her death happened a fortnight before the first anniversary of her and Ms Gooden’s civil partnership, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Police say the vehicle was travelling at between 41 and 49 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone, but the driver, Michael Campbell, escaped prosecution because of the absence of correct signage notifying motorists of the speed limit.

Coroner Fiona Borrill said she would be writing to Manchester City Council to ask when the correct signage would be put in place, and Ms Gooden is now urging the local authority to take action.

“I don’t want other families to go through what happened to Jaye,” she said.

“I went to leave flowers there last week and I stepped out on a green light and a car came through really fast. It was a near-miss, I was nearly run over.

“I don’t understand why the council hasn’t put better signs in there yet - you would have thought somebody dying would be enough.”

She revealed that she plans to bring a civil action against the motorist with the help of her solicitor, Carol Jackson of the law firm Slater & Gordon.

Ms Gooden issued an appeal for witnesses, including pedestrians in the vicinity when the crash happened, saying: “I hope they will come forward. I want to fight for justice for Jaye.

“I miss Jaye every day. I still cycle but it’s just not the same without Jaye. She was the person I wanted to spend my life with and grow old with and that’s been taken away from me.

A spokesman for Manchester City Council told the Manchester Evening News that 30mph signs are positioned at the beginning of the slip road, as well as a 50 mph sign at its junction with the motorway.

He added that the council was working alongside Greater Manchester Police to improve the 30mph signage, and that works will be undertaken “in the next few weeks.”

21 user comments

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It's sad that civil actions have to be taken because the justice system is useless.

In this case the justice system doesn't seem to have taken in to consideration that a person shouldn't be driving so fast that can't avoid an accident regardless of what the speed limit is.

I hope Ms Gooden gets some justice.

posted by kie7077 [434 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 16:06

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"as" rather than "us"?

posted by ChairRDRF [107 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 17:05

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One heading OK now, not the other.

posted by ChairRDRF [107 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 17:07

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kie7077 wrote:
It's sad that civil actions have to be taken because the justice system is useless.

In this case the justice system doesn't seem to have taken in to consideration that a person shouldn't be driving so fast that can't avoid an accident regardless of what the speed limit is.

I hope Ms Gooden gets some justice.

Totally agree. It doesnt apply just to cyclists - a neighbour of mine was involved in an accident for which her insurance company paid out. She was about to pull out of a driveway on a blind corner on country lane (in her car). Note - she was not in the road. There is a big mirror on the corner to give the driver pulling out visibility in both directions. A car was coming around the corner, and hit a third car coming the other way. Apparently the totally legitimate excuse was 'I saw her in the mirror so I had to pull across the road to avoid hitting her'.

The fact he was travelling to fast to stop as he came up to a well signposted, dangerous corner seemed to be considered to be totally irrelevant. So someone sitting in a driveway, not even on the road, was considered somehow to blame.

It seems to me the insurance companies have quite a bit of responsibility here to contest claims where the perpetrator is patently not complying with the Highway Code.

posted by edster99 [148 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 20:10

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There are some total c**ts driving on the roads. Take care every one.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [219 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 21:02

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Putting aside my cynical nature, I'd be interested to see what kind of 'civil action' this may be. Doesn't sound like a private prosecution so we're not talking 'justice' here we're talking money. I suspect this may be the the partner considering claiming 'damages' from the driver.
I'll be surprised if it actually happens.

I'm old - not dead.

posted by Eebijeebi [29 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 21:45

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Eebijeebi wrote:
Putting aside my cynical nature, I'd be interested to see what kind of 'civil action' this may be. Doesn't sound like a private prosecution so we're not talking 'justice' here we're talking money. I suspect this may be the the partner considering claiming 'damages' from the driver.
I'll be surprised if it actually happens.

A civil action wouldn't be a private prosecution by definition. And it's one that someone who has lost their legal partner because of someone else's alleged negligence is perfectly entitled to bring, and the insinuation it's all about "money" is a bit tasteless. And why would you be "surprised" if it happens? Negligence cases come before the civil courts all the time.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7927 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 22:16

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
Eebijeebi wrote:
Putting aside my cynical nature, I'd be interested to see what kind of 'civil action' this may be. Doesn't sound like a private prosecution so we're not talking 'justice' here we're talking money. I suspect this may be the the partner considering claiming 'damages' from the driver.
I'll be surprised if it actually happens.

A civil action wouldn't be a private prosecution by definition. And it's one that someone who has lost their legal partner because of someone else's alleged negligence is perfectly entitled to bring, and the insinuation it's all about "money" is a bit tasteless. And why would you be "surprised" if it happens? Negligence cases come before the civil courts all the time.

Well maybe I don't follow the news enough and as civil partner I suppose there's the opportunity to claim for wrongful death however, the only redress can be financial one, so if it's not about money what can it be? If discussing a news item based on given details is 'tasteless' then indeed I'm guilty.
As to whether, bearing in mind the circumstances of the accident i.e. apparent lack of witnesses, result of the police investigation, incorrect signage I'll still be surprised if it goes ahead. That is purely personal speculation on what I have read.

I'm old - not dead.

posted by Eebijeebi [29 posts]
22nd June 2014 - 23:55

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Eebijeebi wrote:

That is purely personal speculation on what I have read.

You were doing rather a lot of 'personal speculation' on the last story that was posted about this incident, much of it ill-informed.

posted by dp24 [151 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 0:08

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I offered a contrary opinion to that of lambasting the police on the strength of a couple of quotes in a very short newspaper report.
I assume the reason news items have the option to comment is so that we can do just that?

I'm old - not dead.

posted by Eebijeebi [29 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 6:55

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The fact that the signs have not been improved since a tragic death shows how little the authorities care about road safety. Surely it is the council that should be sued?
Maybe then they would give a s**t?

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 9:15

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All this signage nonsense is just a whitewash exercise anyway. I know the slip road well, you'd have to be blind or completely incompetent not to see someone on the crossing, even doing 49mph. Nothing to do with the speed, all to do with a crap driver. The problem apart from that is all about the weak and ill-equipped justice system that has yet again completely failed to take a dangerous driver off the road and has left the relatives heartbroken, disillusioned and alone.

posted by samuri [12 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 9:28

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There are a lot of crossings in and out of the area that don't have traffic lights at all!

When I visited the Manchester council website they state that there is no money for adding pedestrian crossings, instead they are using the money for road surfacing.

This isn't abut cyclists so much, but about public safety. It's now got to the point where the council values the suspension of cars above the lives of pedestrians.

posted by GREGJONES [111 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 10:09

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Airzound wrote:
There are some total c**ts driving on the roads. Take care every one.

I think this post sums it up......End of.

posted by Gourmet Shot [15 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 23:22

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I had a wander round the area some time ago on Streetview (images dated a few months prior to the collision IIRC, so a good chance of being representative), after reading the original news reports. As far as I could see there was no need for 30mph signs to be there anyway: you arrive at the junction from 30mph zones and the sign for the change in limit is placed at the far end of the slip road, way beyond where Jaye was killed.

There's something very fishy about this one.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [369 posts]
24th June 2014 - 8:38

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Surely if you kill a cyclist, the main point is the detail 'YOU KILLED A CYCLIST', does this imply if you killed a cyclist whilst driving at 29 in a 30 its ok? Unless the cyclist did something stupid or there was a bizarre incident, you are at fault!

I would like to take a large % of judges out to a field, bury them and start again with some people who understand the value of human life.

It must be terrible for the partner or family of any tragedy like this to cope knowing the system is so flawed.

posted by Simmo72 [274 posts]
24th June 2014 - 12:40

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Derby Road in Liverpool is a 30mph dual carriageway for most if it's length with a 40mph mile long section at it's northern end before returning to 30mph - pretty nonsensical in itself. Having being stopped for doing 41mph in the 30mph section I was reminded by the Police officer that no signage is not an excuse as 'a road with street lights has to be treated as having a 30mph limit unless signs state otherwise.'

A local road has a National Speed limit applies sign followed by a 30 followed by a 40 all within 500 yards if a T junction. No wonder courts are confused and reckless speeders getting off.

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
24th June 2014 - 14:58

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MercuryOne wrote:
'a road with street lights has to be treated as having a 30mph limit unless signs state otherwise.'

Unless, apparently, you drive so horribly that you kill someone?

Where was that copper when this went to court, I wonder?

CPS fails again.

posted by jacknorell [286 posts]
24th June 2014 - 15:22

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A failure of justice.

posted by Cranky Acid [36 posts]
24th June 2014 - 16:29

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Eebijeebi wrote:
Putting aside my cynical nature, I'd be interested to see what kind of 'civil action' this may be. Doesn't sound like a private prosecution so we're not talking 'justice' here we're talking money. I suspect this may be the the partner considering claiming 'damages' from the driver.
I'll be surprised if it actually happens.

Once the justice system has failed to provide justice a private prosecution becomes the only available course of action. I know both the location of the incident and the partner. Having met her I am 100% sure her motivation is entirely about justice. Money simply becomes the only vehicle available to dispatch it.
There are plenty of people in Manchester who will be very happy to support her in her efforts to make sure it does actually happen.

posted by Cranky Acid [36 posts]
24th June 2014 - 16:30

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@ Cranky Acid

Maybe the Cyclists Defence Fund could help.

posted by kie7077 [434 posts]
24th June 2014 - 18:21

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