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British woman died after plunging off Pyrenees hairpin in thick cloud

Coroner's inquest heard council boss and experienced cyclist Jennifer Hill died instantly, after falling 100ft at a hairpin bend...

A British woman who plunged 100ft off a cliff while cycling in the Pyrenees was riding through thick cloud at the time of the accident.

Jennifer Hill, 57, who lived in Monmouth, came off a steep section of road at a hairpin bend on the first day of her holiday in the Gavarnie region of the Pyrenees in August.

Newport Coroner's Court recorded a verdict of accidental death after hearing Hill, who was Vale of Glamorgan Council’s director of education, and an experienced cyclist, died instantly.

British woman on cycling holiday in Pyrenees killed in ravine fall

Hill was following her husband, Adam Spector, when she disappeared into cloud. Spector was riding ahead at the time, and it was only at a roadside café that he learned of the tragedy, from fellow cyclists. The couple were riding bikes hired for their holiday.

"It was cloudy. We went through cloud on the way up and she was just behind me," said Mr Spector, the BBC reports.

"We rode back down through the clouds and I took it slowly and carefully. I didn't look behind me."

He described Ms Hill as "very experienced", and said she rode 80 to 100 miles a week.

Gwent Coroner David Bowen said: "She died doing a pastime she enjoyed".

"I'm very surprised she lost control because she was so experienced".

Rob Thomas, managing director of Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: "Those of us who worked with Jennifer will remember her not only as being hugely talented but also for being extremely committed to her role, and to improving the standard of education in the vale."

Council leader Neil Moore described Mrs Hill as “a public servant of great distinction” and that she would "leave a space that cannot be filled.”



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