Motives for woman’s death ‘unanswered’

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THERE remain ‘unanswered questions’ surrounding the death of a 25-year-old woman who was hit by a freight train, according to a coroner.

Tracey George, from Wistaria Road, Wisbech, died on March 14 last year after being struck by a train at Santon Downham.

An inquest into Ms George’s death was held at West Suffolk House, in Bury st Edmunds, on Tuesday.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean gave an open verdict at the hearing, deciding there was not enough evidence to support any other outcome.

Ms George died at around 9.30pm having being struck by the train in a heavily wooded area.

In a statement, driver Paul Fennelow told investigators that he had not had time to stop the Peterborough-bound train after Ms George appeared in its headlights.

Mr Fennelow said he had seen a ‘human form’ wearing a black dress and red belt in the extreme limits of the train’s lights.

He said he immediately knew the train would hit Ms George despite slamming on the emergency brakes.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms George had died from severe head injuries.

Blood samples contained 176 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – more than twice the legal drink drive limit.

The pathologist’s report found no evidence of injury other than that caused by the train and no signs of an assault on Ms George.

Dr Dean said although Ms George made no attempt to avoid the train, and that nobody was present at the scene, it was not possible to confirm a reason for her death.

“We really don’t know what the intentions of Tracey were at that time.

“It’s a possibility she meant to take her own life, it’s a possibility she may have had some other reason and it’s possible the level of alcohol had a part to play in the tragedy which took place,” he said.