Tragic South Yorkshire teen ‘oblivious’ before being hit by train

Danny Clements
Danny Clements

A SCHOOLBOY killed on a South Yorkshire railway line was in ‘a world of his own’ moments before being hit by a 100mph express train.

An inquest into Daniel Powell’s death has been adjourned for further inquiries to be made into his movements before the tragedy.

Daniel, aged 15, died on the night of June 11 this year when he walked across tracks only yards from a crossing described by one police officer as a ‘regular trespass spot’.

An inquest heard yesterday the train driver, with eight years’ experience, was driving from London King’s Cross to Hull when her locomotive hit the teenager.

In a written statement to the hearing, she described Daniel as in ‘a world of his own’ and ‘he seemed oblivious to his surroundings’ just before the train hit him in Rossington, Doncaster.

She said she was just slowing down from 110mph as she entered the Rossington area when she saw a person in a light blue hooded top walking towards the tracks from her left.

She estimated he was probably a mile away as she travelled in the middle of three tracks and she sounded her horn.

As the train continued he stepped over the first rail of the tracks.

She added she could see his hood was up and wondered if he could hear the horn.

When he stepped onto the track on which the train was running, he ‘appeared to stop and stand still’, her statement said.

The driver used her emergency brakes but the train hit Daniel.

His cause of death was given as multiple injuries due to a railway collision. A toxicology test came back negative.

The coroner was told Daniel, also known by the surname Clements and who was living with foster parents at the time, had ‘experienced some issues with the development of his character’.

But there was educational support for him, as well as support from organisations including local authorities and the police.

The inquest heard it was unclear what Daniel’s movements had been in the hours prior to the incident.

Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Teresa Searle said she had concerns about Daniel’s whereabouts in that period.

The court heard that, if Daniel had not returned home by a certain time in the evening, the police were contacted and he would be brought home. The police had been contacted on this occasion.

Dr Searle told the court the information didn’t ‘take her any further as to how Daniel died’ and what is known is ‘police were informed that he wasn’t where he was expected to be’.

The case was adjourned for inquiries to be made into information downloaded from the on-train data recorder.

A date for the inquest to resume is yet to be fixed.