Legal action being considered following pothole death crash

The husband of a woman who died after falling from her bike is taking legal advice on a possible case against Somerset County Council for failing to maintain the road system in the county.  Richard Nicholl’s wife Margaret suffered a fatal head injury when she hit the pothole while descending a hill at 35 mph on March 12 this year.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at the inquest of Margaret last week though a report by PC David Hoarsley of the collision investigation unit of Somerset Police said at the inquest that the road was in a “poor state of repair.”

Somerset County Council said it had complied with its inspection policy over potholes on East Street, Shepton Montague, where the accident happened.

Work had been carried out on three potholes on East Street on March 9 2010 and they had been checked again six months later, according to the council.  The exact location of the repairs was inconclusive from the details recorded by the contractor, however, the inquest was told last week.  The council confirmed that the potholes on East Street were due for further inspection on March 13, the day after the accident.

Mr Nicholl’s barrister Malcolm Galloway told the Somerset Western Gazette: “There should have been repairs in March 2010 but there is no evidence of the repairs in the photos taken after the accident in March 2011. How long the pothole had been there for and if it had been repaired properly is for another court to decide.”

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