About the Inquest – Marie Vesco

As I was preparing the announcement for the ride, I googled for web pages about Marie and what happened to her and I found a report from the Inquest.

I never got to write about the Inquest. Too many feelings, and some how we were still in shock. Not only about her death. Each and every one of the interactions the family had with whatever authorities they dealt with, meant an additional blow, another shock we all had to get over.

The inquest was no exception. The following is apparently a report from The Argus, posted to some yahoo group. It probably has copyright, but it also probably will be lost forever as lost forever are all the contributions many of Marie’s friends and family left there as obituaries. I wish someone had been quick enough to somehow preserve those testimonies somewhere safe. But then again, we were so much in shock.

This in an attempt to preserve the only other report about the inquest I have come across.

Marie Vesco Inquest

Last Thursday I attended the inquest into the death of Marie Vesco. It must
have been a very traumatic day for her mother, father and other family
members who were present.

My overall view is that the Coroner and police have no idea of what it’s
like to be a cyclist. They gave a ‘windscreen perspective’ view of cycling.
I do not agree with the coroner’s narrative verdict; an ‘open verdict’ would
have been a fairer conclusion.

This group of young people were cycling from London to Brighton to take part
in a demonstration at EDO. They were unfamiliar with the area and only ended
up on the A23 due to poor cycle route signing (apparently the police have 40
minutes of CCTV footage of the cyclists prior to this tragedy). However it
is legal to cycle on this road and therefore due care should be taken of

Highway Code Rule 212 – When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them
plenty of room (see Rules 162-167). If they look over their shoulder it
could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction.
Give them time and space to do so.

Clearly, due care was not taken by the drivers who collided with Marie. The
drivers gave differing accounts as to their speed (60 & 70mph) and whether
they were in the slip lane or not. Evidence from her cycling companions was
that the cars came from lanes 2 or 3 and not the slip lane.

Marie was looking over her shoulder and had crossed the slip lane and
entered the hatched area when she was hit.

She was probably focused on vehicles coming from behind her (i.e. in the
slip lane) and not expecting cars to cut across at the last minute from
lanes 2 or 3. The first car overtook Marie clipping her in doing so which
caused her to fall from her bike. The second car then hit her. Marie was
still under that car when it came to a halt.

Tony Green