On 17 September 2020, Lorraine Barrow was cycling home after finishing a shift at the local school. Lorraine was a cleaner at the school and had cycled to and from work for the past 13 years.
As she was signalling right to enter her home, Lorraine was hit by a speeding car. It was about 6.20pm. As normal, she was doing everything right, textbook Highway Code, her signal was clear, her road position was correct, she was wearing a high-visibility vest, cycling jacket and helmet with rear-facing light.
The car was travelling on a rural road known to the driver – it was her normal route to and from work. The car was travelling at a minimum speed of 44mph on a 30mph limit road.
Lorraine went over the top of the car and ended up in a farm gateway, 27 metres from the point of impact. She died from her injuries at the scene , aged 57. Her husband Chris was called out of their house by one of Lorraine’s colleagues, and he recalls seeing a significant amount of blood on the road where she had been hit. He attempted CPR but could not save her life.
Lorraine, 57, was killed by a speeding driver while cycling home from work. She died just metres from her home.
Lorraine's story shows that road crashes impact all road users. Our 39-year-old partnership was destroyed, ending just three days after our 35th wedding anniversary. Our retirement plans were snatched away from us, our children have lost a loving mother, our grandson has lost his nanny, and her mother has lost her only daughter. The ripples run wide and deep. This is why I am sharing her story; drivers have a duty of care and a responsibility to protect other people on roads.
The driver was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and sentenced to a six-month curfew, 200 hours community service, and a one year prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Not a day goes by when Chris does not think about what happened to Lorraine and the injustice; it has turned his life upside down. He says: “I miss Lorraine more today than yesterday and tomorrow I will miss her more than today.” Lorraine and Chris were looking ahead to a happy retirement, with lots of activities planned for them to spend time together. Their children also lost a loving and caring mother, and their grandson lost a devoted nanny. Every day, Chris lights a remembrance candle on the gate post where Lorraine died.
Chris is sharing Lorraine’s story to raise awareness of the fact that road crashes can impact anybody using our roads. “Lorraine did not like to drive,” he says. “She used her bike more often than not to get from A to B.” He wants to make sure that people take care, especially to look out for cyclists and other vulnerable people on our roads.