9:00am Monday 8th June 2009
The family of a French cyclist who died as she rode along the A23 have
expressed their anger that their daughter “died for nothing”.
Marie Vesco was involved in an accident as she and a group of
friends made their way to a Smash EDO protest in Brighton last June.
But a year after her death, Marie’s boyfriend Seb Achaibou, her
father Jacques and her mother Dominique have seen their campaign for
better signage to improve the safety of cyclists come to nothing.
In a statement they said: “One year has passed and Marie has died
for nothing, like an animal squashed on the road, with not a single
sanction for any of the responsible parties.
“Today we are very angry as we realise that in this affair, our daughter is the only victim.
“We are seeking justice for Marie – what about her human rights?
“We ask ourselves who will be next. We are angry that nobody cares and nothing has been done to protect us.”
They wanted clearer signage put up along the road to inform cyclists of cycle paths that were available for them to use.
Now, one year later, Marie’s family and friends have placed a white “ghost bike” to mark the spot where Marie was killed.
Speaking to The Argus, they criticised the authorities for not reacting more swiftly to prevent other accidents in the future.
Her parents said: “We are abandoned to grieve the loss of our
beautiful child in the life-long knowledge that her death was treated
as of no more value than a cat.”
At the inquest into her death, held in February, West Sussex
Coroner Penelope Schofield called for an urgent assessment of the
signage along the road through a Rule 43 recommendation.
That gives the coroner the power to make a report where they believe action needs to be taken to prevent future deaths.
But despite the coroner highlighting the issue of signage in February, nothing has changed.
Marie was just a week away from her 20th birthday when she died.
Speaking shortly after her death, her family paid tribute to her as “a brilliant pupil”.
They said: “Her intellectual ability did not prevent her from dreaming and hoping for a better world.
“She was an idealist who wanted to change the world, by raising
awareness about and fighting against injustices such as conflicts,
poverty and wasting resources.”
A Highways Agency spokesman said its plans to improve the cycle
path network across Sussex had started two years ago and were ongoing.
He said: “The Highways Agency takes safety of all road users very
seriously and since 2007 we have been working with our stakeholders on
plans to improve cycle routes across Sussex, including national cycle
“We have co-operated fully with the police during their
investigation and the ensuing coroners inquest following this tragic