A MAN was killed by a train travelling at 111mph as he crossed the tracks on the way to a fishing pond.
Scott McAdam had referred to having depression as he challenged a pub manager to a fight and was seen swigging from a bottle before he was struck on the East Coast Mainline at Ouston.
But an inquest into the death of the 25-year-old from Saddlebeck, Albany, Washington, heard there was no evidence he had taken his own life.
Train driver Gary Holtam said he was approaching the capacity speed of 115mph on Wednesday, November 27, when he saw Mr McAdam crouching or kneeling on his tracks and hit the emergency brake.
He saw Mr McAdam look over his shoulder and appeared to stumble away before he was struck.
A post mortem examination found Mr McAdam died of multiple traumatic injuries and had cannabis in his system, but because of his injuries, the pathologist was unable to test for alcohol.
Darren Bailes, manager of the Wheatsheaf Inn at Pelaw Grange at the time, came across him earlier in the car park with bags and a fishing rod.
Mr McAdam asked if Mr Bailes had a problem after they exchanged glances and if he wanted to “sort this out on the grass”, also questioning if he had ever suffered from depression.
He added Mr McAdam seemed anxious, aggressive and believed he had been drinking, warning him the police would be called unless he left.
Pc Wayne Brown, of the British Transport Police, told the hearing in Crook Mr McAdam had been seen drinking from what looked like a vodka bottle on CCTV.
He was found on the track 400 yards from the pub, with the spot around 200 yards from a fishing pond Mr McAdam was known to visit.
Pc Brown said: “Scott was known to be a binge drinker, I think he wasn’t a gentleman who drank through the week but at the weekend. That was Scott’s downtime and he would drink to excess.”
He added there had been no indication of depression and was “pretty much in high spirits” after finding three weeks’ work, but his confidence had taken a knock years back when he was the victim of a happy slapping assault.
Coroner Andrew Tweddle, who said there had been no evidence to indicate he had taken his own life, read a comment from Mr McAdam’s grandmother Lillian Probert, which said he had set off in a taxi to go fishing and said he would be home at teatime.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Tweddle said: “In Mr Holtam’s evidence, Scott turned around and looked over his shoulder and seemed as if he was going to get out of the way, but there simply wasn’t time.”