Malton level crossing death 'accidental' inquest finds

Eric Ireland Eric Ireland was killed when a train hit the car he was in at the crossing

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A 77-year-old man killed when his car was hit by a train did not call the signalman to check if anything was coming, an inquest has found.

Eric Ireland from Moorsholme in Scampston died at Ivy Lea rail crossing in Scampston, near Malton on 7 May.

A inquest into the incident recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The accident happened at a "user-worked crossing", meaning anyone wanting to cross the line must telephone for permission.

The inquest heard signaller Derek Emmerson saw a flashing light and heard a beep on his display board showing a request from the crossing at Ivy Lea Farm.

But when he picked up the call there was nobody there. The inquest found the phone had been knocked off the hook in the accident.

Coroner Michael Oakley said: "‎I'm satisfied on the balance of probabilities no call was made to the signalman - that the telephone that seemingly rang in his box was in fact the receiver being knocked off its rest when the post was damaged in the impact."

The hearing was told Mr Ireland had been using the crossing regularly for more than 50 years.

Wrecked car The car was struck by the train on a farm track crossing in Scampston on Wednesday

He had worked at Ivy Lea Farm for many years and even though he had retired he often called by to help out.

On the morning of the accident he offered to help look after the pigs while the owners were away.

The train hit Mr Ireland's Suzuki at 70mph, throwing him from the car.

‎First Transpennine ‎Express driver John Buckle said it was only when he was "on top of it" that he realised there was a car edging onto the tracks.

He slammed on the brakes and sounded the horn. "I heard a bang," he said. "‎I was pretty much in shock at the time."

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