A pothole 5 inches deep left my face looking as if I'd been brutally attacked

Posted on 4:09 PM by Sameer Shah

His two black eyes, broken facial bones and cuts and bruises make Warren Peters look like the victim of a brutal mugging.

In fact, the cyclist had been set upon by nothing more than a pothole.

Mr Peters, a 45-year- old surveyor, was cycling the seven miles home from his office in Milland, West Sussex, when he had an altercation with the 5in- deep hole.

It was 5.50pm and the weather was gloomy following a shower as he reached the stretch of road which borders Roman Abramovich's former estate at Harting Combe.

'There was surface water across the road and a car was coming up behind me which meant I had to stick to the inside line rather than go round it,' he said.

'There was this massive pothole there hidden by the water and I went straight into it. The bike just stopped dead and I was catapulted over the handlebars.

'All I can remember is my face hitting the ground. There was a big chunk taken out of my cycle helmet. If I hadn't been wearing it, I dread to think what would have happened.

'What happened next is very vague. Apparently I tried to phone for an ambulance but I don't remember.

'A chap in a car stopped and a lady stopped and someone else and I sat in the back of a car.

In the end I managed to contact my wife Gillian and she came and picked me up. She took me to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and I was there for two nights while they operated on my face.

'I may have to go back for another operation and in the meantime I can't eat properly because of the damage to my jaw.

'I suffered multiple fractures, including a broken nose and cracked jaw and needed an awful lot of stitches. I was trying to be green by cycling to work - but now I go by car.'

Mr Peters, whose compensation claim is being handled by British Cycling, is one of thousands injured by the state of the roads, made worse by frosts in February.

The AA says insurance claims have trebled, with many motorists and cyclists hitting potholes hidden by rainwater.

The pothole into which Mr Peters crashed was was 5in deep and 2ft across. It has since been repaired, but an inspection of it yesterday showed that it was already crumbling round the edges, with another hole formin.

Supporting the Daily Mail's campaign to improve the state of the nation's roads, Mr Peters said: 'If it stirs something up to get potholes repaired it's brilliant.'

West Sussex County Council says the pothole should have been given 'the highest intervention level' once reported as it was at least 10cm deep. Repairs should be made within 72 hours.

The council said: 'Our team of pothole patrols are working to ensure speedy repairs are made. The works schedule is put together on a priority basis.

'We will continue to make every reasonable effort to deal with hazards as soon as is practicably possible.'

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