Accidental death on Heritage Railway line

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A MAN who fell under a train on a Hampshire heritage railway was unaware he was not meant to get off due to a faulty PA system in his carriage, an inquest heard.

Michael Kerry had arranged that trip on the Real Ale train on the Watercress Line.

The train, run by the Mid Hampshire Heritage Railway, known as the Watercress Line, did a double return journey from Alton to Alresford.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard that 62-year-old Mr Kerry, a systems electronics test engineer for BAE, had organised the trip for his wife Carol’s 60th birthday and the couple and friends were sitting in the same carriage.

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Mrs Kerry told the court that their carriage’s PA system was not working which she discovered when she went to another part of the train.

As a result her husband, of Old Redbridge Road, Redbridge, Southampton, missed an announcement asking passengers not to leave the train at the second Alresford stop as it was running late.

The court heard that Mr Kerry left the train for a suspected toilet stop.

As it was pulling out of the station Mr Kerry ran to get onto the train while it was moving.

Despite shouts for him to stand clear by the guard and other people on the platform, he managed to open a door but lost his his footing and was dragged under the train.

The train was stopped by the guard using the emergency brake and the emergency services were called by signalman Peter Buckland.

Mr Kerry died at the scene.

Consultant pathologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, Dr Raid Al Talib, told the court that he concluded Mr Kerry died of multiple crush injuries as a result of the accident.

Alistair Fyfe worked as an inspector for the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, an independent body affiliated with the Department of Transport, at the time of the incident.

Mr Fyfe said: “I am happy the Mid Hampshire Railway followed their own procedures in dealing with this incident.”

A jury returned a verdict that Mr Kerry died of multiple crush injuries and that his death on December 1, 2007, was accidental.

Coroner for central Hampshire, Grahame Short, extended his sympathy to Mr Kerry’s family.

The Watercress Line declined to discuss the death.

Comments (1)

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9:59pm Tue 4 Nov 08

Bright Spark says...

Blame the PA system not the booze? There are worse ways to go, I mean, having several pints of real ale on a steam train before you pass out forever, well, not bad really, could be worse.
Blame the PA system not the booze? There are worse ways to go, I mean, having several pints of real ale on a steam train before you pass out forever, well, not bad really, could be worse. Bright Spark
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