AN experienced cyclist was left with horrific injuries and had to undergo reconstructive facial surgery after hitting a pothole on Brimpton Road in Baughurst.
Roxelle Kimberley, 32, was cycling with her riding group, the Oakley Pedalers, when she hit the pothole, flew over the handlebars and landed on her face in the road.
She fractured all her front upper jaw tooth sockets, received a severe laceration to her lower lip, a three-inch split to her chin and her upper lip through to her nostril was completely torn.
Mrs Kimberley, from Winklebury, also lost two teeth and could potentially lose others.
After the accident, which happened on September 2, between Woodlands Road and Hazel Green, close to The Hurst Community College, she was rushed straight to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, where she was attended to by specialist facial surgeons.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, she said: “The physical healing is going well, but the mental healing not so well.
“I get flashbacks, especially at night when there is no one or nothing to distract me.”
The pothole was measured by Mrs Kimberley’s husband Martyn as being four inches deep, 13 inches wide and 33 inches long.
Another cyclist in the group went through the same pothole seconds earlier, puncturing both his tyres.
He reported it to Hampshire County Council through the online form.
Mrs Kimberley said: “It’s not about money and compensation, but to make Hampshire County Council aware of how bad the roads are – not just for cyclists but other road users too.
“I know they [the council] have a lot on their hands and a lot of roads to deal with, but they need to understand that they need to do more – and quicker.”
The pothole has since been filled in by Hampshire County Council.
However, Mrs Kimberley said: “Via my lawyers, Hampshire County Council have emailed us a written report stating that their routine inspection on July 12 this year found no defects on Brimpton Road, thus confirming this section of road was safe for all road users.
“I find it hard to believe that a pothole four inches deep, 13 inches wide and 33 inches long can appear during the summer in just seven weeks, with no icy conditions and no grit being spread.”
When approached by the Newbury Weekly News, a spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “We are unable to comment on any claim that may be in progress.”
Three weeks after the accident, Mrs Kimberley returned to her job as a nanny.
She said: “It was way too early, but I wanted to get back to normal.
“I had enough energy to say hello to the kids and then I had to sit down.
“I couldn’t play with them as I was still confused. I realised I was not well enough to return.
“They eased me in gently and it wasn’t until five weeks after the accident that I went back full-time.”
She has recently started cycling again with the Oakley Pedalers and said: “I went out last week and it was the hardest winter ride I’ve ever had.
“I’m the worst cyclist out there now as I cycle in the middle of road so I can avoid any potholes, but I’m getting there.”
Mrs Kimberley is on the road to recovery – but there is still a long way to go, with root canal treatment taking place in the new year.
So far her dental surgery has cost in excess of £5,000 as she had to go to a private dentist after her NHS dentist was unable to offer any help regarding the extensive damage to her jaw and tooth sockets.
n If anyone has pictures or had reported this pothole prior to July 2017, contact Mrs Kimberley on firstname.lastname@example.org