The mother of a woman killed when she apparently rode her bike into the back of lorry trailer has appealed to cyclists not to listen to music while they ride.
Speaking after an inquest into the death of 29-year-old Amber Mattingley, who was killed in Southampton in March this year, the victim’s mother, Sylvia Britton-Prior, revealed how despite her protestations, her daughter continued to wear large headphones, completely covering her ear, while she rode her bike, and was wearing them at the time of the fatal accident.
Ms Britton-Prior said: “I was always shouting at Amber to take her headphones off when she was cycling but she never listened to me. I told her: ‘I can see you getting killed’ and removed the headphones from her head,” according to a report in the Daily Express.
“But she was ignorant to the dangers of the road and thought she was invincible,” Ms Britton-Prior continued. “Nothing could separate her from her music. It was the love of her life. She even complained to me that the police had stopped her a couple of times and told her to remove her headphones. Amber thought she knew better.”
She added: “I hope some good can come from her death and that others will learn from our heartbreak. Please, do not listen to music while cycling on the road.”
The victim’s sister, 16-year-old Alice Britton- Prior, 16, said: “Amber loved cycling and she loved music. She never left home without her personal stereo and headphones.
“People would see her singing along to her favourite tunes by Kylie and Britney on the way to work. It would put her in a good mood for the day ahead. Mum used to have a go at her for wearing large headphones when cycling and not hearing the traffic but Amber ignored her. I wish she’d listened.”
The Southern Daily Echo reported that witnesses had told the inquest that Ms Mattingley, who was on her way to St Mary’s Fire Station where she worked as a cleaner, had been riding along a cycle path running alongside Northam Road in St Denys when she failed to stop at a junction and rode straight into the rear of the trailer of the lorry, which had been turning right into Prince’s Street.
She died at the scene from chest injuries received during the collision, and accident investigators said that it was possible she was listening to music at the time of the crash.
The lorry driver, 60-year-old Harry Dickinson from Carlisle, was reported to have had an unblemished driving record and was not aware of the collision until a motorist flagged him down and told him what had happened. Keith Wiseman, coroner for Southampton, entered a verdict of accidental death.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.