Afghanistan veteran 'killed' by huge pothole

Updated: 


An Army officer who survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan has been killed on the UK's roads while attempting to avoid a pothole.

Captain Jonathan Allen collided with a lorry when he swerved his bicycle to avoid a huge hole in side of the A338 in Wiltshire.

The Sun reports that the 15ft long pothole was filled in by council workmen 36 hours after the tragic accident occurred.

Police are investigating the incident, but Andrew Connolly, a local councillor, told the newspaper that he was in no doubt that the condition of the A-road had contributed to Captain Allen's death.

"The roads are just awful and this particular pothole was more like a trench," he said.

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this crater was a direct factor behind this young man's tragic death. The accident happened in the evening when it was pitch black and had been raining heavily and the hole would have been filled with water.

"He either ploughed into it without seeing it and then fell in front of the lorry or swerved at the last moment to avoid it.

"Either way, the pothole was undoubtedly to blame."

It is thought that the driver of the lorry may have been attempting to overtake the officer when the collision occurred. A coroner's inquest into the circumstances surrounding Captain Allen's death has since been opened.

A spokesman for the county council said: "Any recommendations made by the coroner at a subsequent inquest concerning the highway will of course be given serious consideration by Wiltshire Council."

Last week the government announced an additional £100 million for local authorities to help pay for repairs to potholes, but the damage has been so severe and widespread that experts at Asphalt Industry Alliance believe the final cost could run into billions.

Captain Allen served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and had been to Afghanistan in 2007.