Open verdict on rail line death

A JURY returned an open verdict on a man who died on a Northamptonshire railway line after running in front of a train.

Kevin Towers, of Woodgate Road, Wootton, died from multiple injuries after being hit by a train on the railway at Ashton, near Roade, in September last year, an inquest heard yesterday.

The 29-year-old had a long history of depression but his family believed he was recovering, until the night before his death.

On September 1 he was struck by the 16.18 London to Liverpool Virgin train as he stood on the track at 4.55pm. Train driver John Robinson told the inquest: "He ran straight out in front of me on to the track.

"Then he stood still. The train was baring down on him.

"Then he acted as if he had second thoughts. He leant back to where he came from and looked up at me but that was it. I thought he was going to get out of the way but he never did."

Mr Towers had been treated for clinical depression between 2000 and 2003 and had made an attempt to kill himself during that time.

But his mother Joy Towers said that in the months running up to his death he had seemed a lot better. "He was just so happy. He'd had a wonderful bank holiday weekend.

"There appeared no cause for concern until that evening when he seemed a bit upset," she said.

Northamptonshire coroner Anne Pember said the key issues of the inquest were that no note had been left and that Mr Towers appeared to have changed his mind about a believed attempt to kill himself.

The jury returned an open verdict.