Northampton friends killed in car crash remembered one year on at memorial bike ride through town centre
Over 80 cyclists rode through town centre last night (May 26) in memory of four friends from Northampton who died in a car crash last May.
Nicoletta Tocco and her friends Brogan Warren, Samuel 'Krop' Jones and Sam Kay, who were all in their twenties, were all killed in a head-on collision on May 22, 2016, while driving home from a vegan festival in Bristol.
The group's friends and colleagues gathered with other cyclists at the Umbrella Fair Cycle Recycle bike repair shop, in Kettering Road, where Nicoletta had worked in a charity cafe, before embarking on a five-kilometre route across Northampton at 7pm yesterday evening.
At the starting line, an organiser for the event said: "We're riding today to remember friends of ours who couldn't be here. But instead of a minute's silence, let's ring our bells and make some noise as we cycle."
A circle of candles was lit after the ride behind the Racecourse Pavilion, in Kettering Road, and a photo collage of the friends was displayed.
Natan Rybocki, 29, a bike mechanic at Umbrella Fair who helped organise the ride, said: "Nicoletta and the others used to come to Umbrella Fair often. It was very sad when they died. We had a bike ride last year too, just after the accident. We miss them a lot."
The four friends were killed on the A420, in Oxfordshire, while driving back to Northampton in a Citroen Saxo from the VegFest vegan festival in Bristol.
Twenty-three-year-old drive Samuel 'Krop' Jones, a welder, crossed over into the wrong side of the road into the opposite lane of traffic and towards an oncoming Mercedes carrying a family of three.
Despite both cars swerving to avoid a collision, they crashed into each other in the central reservation. All four friends in the Citroen died as a result.
In a statement after the accident, Brogan's mum Deborah Byrne said: “I have no words to explain the pain I’m feeling, my heart and soul have been torn away and it hurts so much I can barely breathe. My beautiful special girl you touched everyone around you with your magical soul and your glittery ways."
The bike ride, which was attended by around 85 cyclists, was organised as part of Critical Mass, a monthly worldwide cycling event to encourage using bicycles instead of driving.
The event also marked Umbrella Fair's second year in Northampton.
Umbrella Fair organise a Critical Mass bike ride on the last Friday of every month.