Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds/Great Barton: Train driver “devastated” at speeding investigation took his own life at Cattishall level crossing

19:39 05 June 2014

Cattishall level crossing

Cattishall level crossing

A train driver left “devastated” at being investigated for a speeding breach took his own life at a west Suffolk level crossing, an inquest has heard.

Neil Saunders, of Bury St Edmunds, had a previously unblemished record in 15 years as a train driver until the brief lack of concentration resulted in the speeding incident, the inquest was told.

The 44-year-old was reportedly left with “concerns and anxieties” after the incident, and took his life at the Cattishall level crossing in Great Barton in February – four months after his train passed through a stop signal.

He was due to get back in control of a train for a new job on the night of the tragedy.

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean told the hearing in Bury that Mr Saunders was left “devastated” by the investigation, which led to him leaving his job.

Dr Dean added: “He lived for the job and took great pride in being a very good train driver.

“Prior to this he had an unblemished record of service and clean sickness record. It does appear the incident had undermined his confidence to a certain extent.

“Although people around him loved him and cared for him, he clearly had worries about the previous incident, concerns and anxieties, but I don’t think anybody could have predicted the action he took that night.”

The signal passed at danger (SPAD) incident happened in November, while Mr Saunders was working for Direct Rail Services.

An investigation found he had exceeded the speed limit on part of the track, which was attributed to a brief lack of concentration due to some concerns he had at the time.

The 44-year-old of Plovers Way, near Nowton Park, found new employment with Freightliner Heavy Haul, and was reportedly left feeling “upbeat” after an initial assessment.

However, on February 24 – a week after the assessment – he was due to meet his new team leader in Peterborough for a night shift, but instead headed to the level crossing off Mount Road.

He was hit by a passenger train travelling from Ipswich to Cambridge at around 8pm, the inquest heard.

The driver of the train reported seeing Mr Saunders standing in the “four foot” – the space between the two tracks – facing away from the oncoming train.

The driver applied the emergency brakes, but did not have time to sound the horn.

Mr Saunders had dinner with his family before he left that night and reportedly there was “nothing untoward”, but he had discussed his new job with his wife Kate during the day.

Dr Dean said: “There was some discussion during the day about whether he was worried about going to work, and one gets the sense of some concern, but she gave him reassurance and he said ‘he wished he had her optimism’.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Three quizzed

Police have quizzed three men following allegations that a referee was kicked, spat at and jostled during a stormy Ipswich Sunday morning football league match.

Lois Cordelia painting Pig-geswyk at the La Tour Cycle Cafe in Ipswich.

An Ipswich artist whose design made it into the Pigs Gone Wild art trail has said the project is great for promoting homegrown talent.

The SPD says St Nicholas Street is a well managed traditional shopping street with historic shop fronts.

Let’s make the most of the beautiful buildings in Ipswich town centre. That is the message to retailers and other businesses amid concerns that some shop fronts don’t reflect the traditional character of the buildings they occupy.

Ipswich Hospital

Missed appointments at the region’s three main hospitals have cost the taxpayer almost £30million in the last three years, we can today reveal.

Wayne Savage interviews Olly Murs on his bus during a visit to Anglia Radio in Great Blakenham.

Swanky tour bus, screaming fans; I could get used to this, writes Wayne Savage. Yes, it was Olly Murs’ bus and him they were screaming for but a boy can dream.

Special police officers arrive at the scene after an explosion occurred in Ansbach. (Friebe/dpa via AP)

A suicide bomber who blew himself up after being turned away from a music festival in southern Germany was a Syrian man who had been denied asylum.

Aerial picture of Latitude festival in Henham Park. Photo : Steve Adams

Ten people were arrested at this year’s Latitude festival, police have said.

Parents and children are campaigning for a 20mph speed limit outside St Helen's Primary School.

Parents and pupils from an Ipswich primary school are demanding a new 20mph limit on some of the town’s busiest roads after a series of recent near misses.

The A12 is closed at the M25 junction.

The A12 was closed at the M25 junction this morning due to a crash.

Stock image. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.

Rising numbers of pupils are being excluded from primary schools in Suffolk, new figures reveal.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24