Open verdict on mother’s death

AN INQUEST into the death of a 51-year-old mother, who was hit by a train, has ended with an open verdict.

Elizabeth Neale, of Alvis Close, Bury St Edmunds, was killed on January 19 as she jogged over the Cattishall pedestrian crossing.

Kevin McCarthy, assistant deputy coroner for Suffolk, said at an inquest in Bury on Wednesday that Mrs Neale had been preparing for her daughter’s wedding when she died.

In a written statement to the inquest, husband Ross Neale said the couple had a good marriage, lasting 20 years.

He described his wife as a happy person who was ‘fun, full of life and energy’ and had a wide group of friends.

Mrs Neale was hit by the train, which was travelling to Felixstowe, at around 7.20am according to testimony from driver Stephen Gooch.

Mr Gooch said the train was travelling at around 40 to 45 miles per hour when he approached the crossing.

Upon coming within 100 feet of it, he saw a female crossing, doing ‘some sort of exercise’.

Mr Gooch said he then saw Mrs Neale turn to face the train when he sounded his warning horns, but she was unable to get out of the way.

He added that it took only a few seconds for the whole series of events to take place, leaving no time for him or Mrs Neale to react.

Mr Neale said the morning of his wife’s death was much like any other in their household, and that she did not seem distracted or any different.

He added that she would often run across the Cattishall crossing in the morning before going to work as an adminstrative assistant to Dr Malcolm Kelvin at Mount Farm Surgery, in Bury.

Mr McCarthy said there was no evidence that Mrs Neale’s death was a deliberate act, ruling out suicide as a possible cause of death.

He concluded by recording an open verdict and offering his condolences to Mrs Neale’s family.