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Accident victim's mother urges cyclists not to listen to music while they ride

29-year-old thought to have been distracted prior to fatal collision

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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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