Tragedy of deaf South Yorkshire woman killed on train tracks
A YOUNG deaf woman who sat on a South Yorkshire railway line after drinking too much did not hear the approaching train until it was too late, an inquest.
Although Billie-Jane Coulton had made previous suicide attempts, CCTV footage at Mexborough station clearly showed her trying to scramble on to the platform as she realised the Transpennine train was nearly upon her.
The coroner at the Doncaster inquest recorded an accidental death verdict.
Billie-Jane’s mum Wendy Allen, of Loxley Court, Hillsborough, Sheffield, was also convinced her daughter would not take her own life, despite her previous mental health and drug problems.
The 27-year-old, of Woodhouse, Sheffield, died from her injuries next to the platform as her boyfriend desperately cried for help.
Billie-Jane and Richard Goulding, 33, arrived at Mexborough station on January 25 just after the last train had gone.
The inquest was told they had been drinking earlier that day in Sheffield and at Mr Goulding’s mother’s home in St Catherine’s Avenue, Balby.
Mr Goulding admitted in a statement to police they had both injected crack cocaine and were drunk.
A few minutes earlier he had had to pull her back from trying to jump into the canal near the station.
Mr Goulding said she ‘laughed it off’ but when they entered the station, instead of crossing to the other platform by the footbridge, they both crossed the tracks and sat on the Sheffield-bound line.
He said Billie-Jane started running off and he shouted after her from the platform. “I doubt she heard me. I saw the headlights of a train. I just saw her disappear under the train. I don’t know how it happened, it was so quick.
“I ran down the track and found Billie-Jane lying next to the track on her back. She was trying to speak. I cradled her for a few minutes.”
Assistant Coroner Mark Beresford said that because of her deafness Billie-Jane may not have heard the train coming from behind ‘and her reaction speed may have been affected by the drink and drugs she had injected that day’.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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