Open verdict after man killed by train

An East Midlands Train at Skegness Railway Station. Mr Dufton died after being hit by a train on the Skegness-Boston line near Firsby. Photo by Philip Murray.

An East Midlands Train at Skegness Railway Station. Mr Dufton died after being hit by a train on the Skegness-Boston line near Firsby. Photo by Philip Murray.

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A RECENTLY bereaved lover who was ‘profoundly affected’ by witnessing his partner’s death, was killed lying in front of a passing train, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Dufton, 38, died from multiple injuries after a train nearly severed him in two at Fendyke Lane railway crossing, Firsby, on December 21.

Simon Thayer, who was driving the train at the time, saw Mr Dufton lie across the tracks.

He immediately applied the emergency brakes but, despite travelling at only 25mph, he couldn’t stop the heavy vehicle in time.

In a statement read at the inquest last week, Mr Thayer said: “He adopted the foetal position and then I knew I was involved in a fatality.”

Mr Dufton had recently been arrested after witnessing his partner of 10 years die but was released without charge.

He had also lost contact with his daughter and was unemployed, living with his sister in Bratoft in the week leading up to his death.

Elaine Dufton speaking at the Lincoln Cathedral Centre inquest said: “He had lost his girlfriend his job and contact with his daughter, he spoke about his girlfriend dying and how hard it was.”

Despite the devastating events to have affected Mr Dufton, his sister believed he was making an effort to start a new life.

When she last saw her brother on the morning of his death he told her that he was going to an appointment at the Job Centre and intended to buy a pedal bike so that he could cycle to work.

He was also going to call his daughter, who was living with other family at the time.

The inquest heard that Mr Dufton took a taxi to Skegness, where he bought a bike from Wards and Sons, but rather than attending his appointment at the job centre, he cycled to a secluded railway crossing in Firsby and awaited a passing train.

Elaine Dufton found her brother’s mobile phone with all of its messages deleted and said she believed he had planned to take his own life.

However, no note was discovered and so Coroner Stuart Fisher recorded an open verdict.

He expressed his deepest sympathies to Elaine Dufton saying ‘it must have been deeply traumatic for you.’