A MAN died after lying down on a rail line and being hit by a train.
Marc Gooding lay down in front of the Grand Central train after becoming stressed, an inquest heard.
He suffered massive head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, near Ryhope in Sunderland.
The hearing into his death was told that the train driver, who had 20 years’ experience, initially thought he had seen birds on the rail tracks ahead.
Pc Michael Proudfoot, from British Transport Police, told the inquest in Sunderland that the train was travelling at 55mph when the driver realised it was a man.
He slammed on the brake, but was not able to stop the Sunderland to London Kings Cross service from hitting the 40-year-old, leaving him with fatal injuries.
Pc Proudfoot said: “He immediately applied the emergency brakes on the train, but did not have time to sound the horn.
“He looked away at the last second, but knew he had hit the person.”
Police investigations revealed Mr Gooding had left his parent’s home in Rachel Close, Ryhope, where he was staying, at about 9.30am on April 3.
He drew out his war pension from a post office in Temple Street, Silksworth, and bought a bottle of Glenn’s vodka and 10 menthol cigarettes from an adjoining shop.
The hearing in Sunderland Civic Centre was told that Mr Gooding was estranged from his wife and had been on leave from his job as a car salesman. The inquest was also told he had been working for a friend as a telesales adviser in an office in Frederick Street, Sunderland, but did not return to work after the bank holiday weekend.
Pc Proudfoot said: “It is believed at the time of his death, he was suffering from anxiety and stress, was unable to sleep and was consuming large amounts of alcohol. He was seeking and receiving medical help at the time of his death.”
Verdict: killed himself