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Cyclist dies after hitting seven year old pothole

Ralph Brazier died on Tuesday night after reportedly hitting the pothole in Surrey, while reports show the council had been warned about it since 2009

A cyclist and father of three has died after crashing when he reportedly hit a pothole, which was apparently reported to the council several times since 2009.

Ralph Brazier, a 52-year-old tech entrepreneur, was cycling with Twickenham Cycling Club (TCC) riders on Tuesday when he is believed to have hit the three inch deep pothole around a drain, at the junction of Weybridge Road and Weystone Road, in Surrey. The South East Coast Ambulance Service were called to the scene at just before 8pm, and Mr Brazier later died at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey.

The Evening Standard says several residents near the accident had spoken to council chiefs about the pothole, which was marked with red paint for repair, while a CTC report suggests the pothole was reported via its website as long ago as 2009. Within 24 hours of Mr Brazier’s death the hole was filled in. Surrey Police and the Health and Safety Executive have launched an investigation into the crash. 

Triathlete killed after hitting pothole – one of two cyclists killed near Rugby in a week

BikeBiz Editor, Carlton Reid, called the collision “preventable” and said the government’s £15bn roads fund should be spent on fixing existing roads.

The collision comes just weeks after a cyclist was killed after hitting a pothole in Rugby.

One local resident, who lives opposite the collision scene, told the Standard the hole kept being filled only to reappear again after a frost.

Weybridge Rd Weyston Road junction pothole - CTC Fill that Hole screenshot

 

CTC Fill that hole pothole report

Tributes, and a TCC jersey have been left at the scene for Brazier, who was described as well-loved, and who raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years.

David Marsden, 46, who was with Mr Brazier on a recent trip to Majorca, told the Standard: “Everybody is extremely upset and wants to understand what has happened and why. 

“He was a well-loved friend of the club, an enthusiastic cyclist and he will be deeply missed. He was such a lovely man. 

“He was a strong, safe and competent cyclist. He was an inspiration to the younger guys of what they would love to be like when they got into their fifties."

A relative told the Standard Mr Brazier had no known medical condition.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesperson said following the collision: "A man had come off his bicycle - possibly due to a medical event - and gone into cardiac arrest.

"Despite advanced life support being administered by the ambulance crews, the man was later declared deceased."

A spokesman for Surrey County Council, the highways authority for the road, said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this difficult time.

"It’s important we wait for the conclusion of an investigation which will explore what happened."

The  Standard article carries a photo of the pothole. 

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14 comments

Avatar
nadsta | 8 years ago
0 likes

We sometimes have a knowing crack at the sergeant major type on the club run or chain gang.  In fact we had one along on Tuesday night.

Then we came across the incident above, rode by in some denial as we saw the row of bikes, ambulances and the medics giving CPR.

As it sank, in I said to the shouty type,  we might the the p1ss mate but you keep us focused and get us to communicate.

I'm not saying at all that  that wasn't happening on the ride above, but it's still worth remembering -especially on night time rides- the more aware and communicative the group are the better, and ensuring the hand signals go all the way to the back of the group is equally essential. 

 

 

 

 

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WolfieSmith | 8 years ago
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So sorry for Ralph's family and friends. It could happen to any of us. Chance is one factor. Holes in the roads we pay for is something more than chance.

Car sized potholes do indeed take priority and cyclist deaths on smaller potholes are factored into costs as incidents that can be contested in court. That's how insurance risk assessment works for councils. They will not reduce speed limits on roads until ITO reports at least one death at a location - so potholes that come and go are even more easy to shrug off.

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Colin Peyresourde | 8 years ago
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The article has the emphasis that hitting the pothole had the direct effect of killing the unfortunate Mr Brazier, and you can see why the connection is made. But I think that the ambulance comment is valid. He may have hit the pothole, but died of a cardiac arrest, not a head injury, or internal bleeding, so I think some enquiry is required. If one good thing comes from this, and it is but a crumb, and that is the pothole gets properly dealt with. 

My thoughts go out to his family. He sounds like a good man.

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davel replied to Colin Peyresourde | 8 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

The article has the emphasis that hitting the pothole had the direct effect of killing the unfortunate Mr Brazier, and you can see why the connection is made. But I think that the ambulance comment is valid. He may have hit the pothole, but died of a cardiac arrest, not a head injury, or internal bleeding, so I think some enquiry is required. If one good thing comes from this, and it is but a crumb, and that is the pothole gets properly dealt with. 

My thoughts go out to his family. He sounds like a good man.

I took the Ambulance Service quote as suggesting that a medical event had caused him to come off the bike - like the pothole was incidental, which is perfectly feasible.

All of our interpretation is pure speculation, of course - but I actually think the article is pretty low on speculation.

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jthef | 8 years ago
0 likes

 

So sad for the family’s loss. Such a waste.

But please everyone report the pot holes on fillthathole web site. 

In Lancashire they are variable at fixing them but too often they just do a quick fix. If you report on the LCC website you see no history, hence please use the fillthathole website as you can see the history of a pothole. I have some I report every year as they fail again and again. So if the unfortunate happens to you on one of these potholes you have a better claim (I don’t like the claim culture though).

I’m in the process of being paid for wheel repair I had before Christmas, but I have reported loads of potholes down this lane over the years.

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L.Willo | 8 years ago
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This is such a poorly written report filled with contradictory and distasteful speculation masquerading as fact.

RIP Mr Brazier and my sincere condolences to your family and friends.

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davel replied to L.Willo | 8 years ago
1 like
L.Willo wrote:

This is such a poorly written report filled with contradictory and distasteful speculation masquerading as fact.

How so? I can see some speculation that seems to come from the Ambulance Service.

Shouldn't their quotes be reported? Isn't their speculation, in light of some bullshit tweeted by another Ambulance Service about using helmets, a story in itself?

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kil0ran | 8 years ago
1 like

Roads round here haven't really recovered from the floods of two winters ago. Council comes out and patches stuff and the hole is back in a few weeks. Such a major effort to get a closure to do it properly it would seem - they took 6 weeks to lay about a quarter of a mile 2 or 3 years ago and even that's already breaking down.

I'm guessing the weight of the average family car has increased significantly over the last decade but then so has tyre width and wheel size. Can't all be down to weather and HGVs though, bearing in mind traffic is only just getting back to pre-credit-crunch levels.

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dafyddp | 8 years ago
5 likes

The equivalent hole in auto terms, might be a 3 x 1 ft long gash appearing in the fast lane of a motorway. Just imagine a lesion in the road surface that is sufficiently dangerous to cause a car travelling at 70 mph to crash into the central barrier, or career into other lanes. Now try to imagine such a hole remainging untreated for seven years. Is that how little our lives are valued?

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wycombewheeler | 8 years ago
4 likes

Hole filled in with 24 hours? While investigation is ongoing? Sounds like destroying evidence.

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bendertherobot replied to wycombewheeler | 8 years ago
1 like

wycombewheeler wrote:

Hole filled in with 24 hours? While investigation is ongoing? Sounds like destroying evidence.

Not really. Section 41 of the Highways Act places a duty on the Local Authority to maintain the roads. If they don't you're likely to win any personal injury and/or damages claim against them.

There's a defence available to them in section 58. If they can show that they took such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic. There are factors in section 58(2) to take into account. One of these is whether they knew or ought to have known of a danger. 

So there are two issues in the present case. Are they liable for the current accident, and let's leave that speculation aside, but, quite clearly, that accident and its consequences is a fairly clear indication of the danger. So if anything else happened they'd lose their section 58 defence. So, whilst you might think it a bit cynical, what they've done is a fairly standard response to a danger. Leaving it there would perpetuate the issue and put others at risk.

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Gourmet Shot | 8 years ago
6 likes

The problem here is that pot holes are not fixed correctly.  They just dob a bit of tarmac in there (which then creates the opposite to the hole  - a bump).  The tarmac then breaks up and the hole re-appears.  

There appears to be no standards, no pride in the workmanship and no responsibility for the council to check the repair.

Obviously I dont know the full details  of this chaps death but no-one should be dead as a result of hole in the road!

Worth mentioning that councils appears to be massively keen on spending cash and wasting tarmac to lay sleeping policemen speed bumps all over the shop but ironically ignore the 6 inch pot hole 2 feet away.

 

 

 

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balmybaldwin | 8 years ago
3 likes

What a disgrace.  I'm not one for encouraging suing public bodies, but I'm getting to the point where I believe its the onl thing that will make them sit up and take notice.

If the family are persuing this in the legal system, I would happily donate to a fund to support this.

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kil0ran | 8 years ago
1 like

If it keeps reappearing after being filled in surely its not a 7 year old pothole?

Ambulance Service comments are odd - why make assumptions as to how he ended up fatally injured?

Probably over-sensitive but given the recent comments from another ambulance service about helmet-wearing why suggest it was a medical issue rather than the pothole? Certainly not qualified to comment one way or the other - that's the coroner's job

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