Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Train crush teacher Kay Stanley 'did not see warnings'

Kay Stanley Image copyright PA
Image caption Kay Stanley was three months pregnant when she died

A pregnant teacher crushed by a 200-tonne train in Australia "did not see or hear" warnings at a crossing, a coroner has concluded.

Kay Stanley, 32, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was killed when her car was hit by the train on 28 January 2008.

Recording a narrative verdict at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre, Julian Fox said it was clear the warning lights and bells were working.

The assistant deputy coroner added that a barrier may have prevented her death.

The inquest heard Miss Stanley was driving her VW Beetle in Tyabb, near Melbourne, when it was hit by the train and pushed 560ft (170m) before being crushed against a platform.

She was three months pregnant when she died and had been due to marry her partner, Brett Vogel, in March that year.

The drama teacher's mother Gwen Bates told the inquest her daughter was a "cautious driver" and could not have been given enough warning.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Kay Stanley's mother Gwen Bates campaigned to have an inquest in the UK

The inquest also heard the crossing did not have barriers at the time as a plan to install them had been delayed.

Mr Fox said: "What is clear is that Kay did not see the warning lights that other people saw or hear the warning bells that other people heard.

"It is entirely possible that if the boom barrier had been in place... Kay would not have died."

The hearing follows an inquest in Australia in 2012 where Victoria coroner Jacinta Heffey rejected Mrs Bates' view that the level crossing's flashing lights were not operating.

Mrs Bates was taken ill after giving evidence last week, which had seen Mr Fox delay delivering his findings.

He told that hearing that he was "aware that Mrs Bates has been admitted to hospital and remains there at present".

"I have no doubt that the stress of Kay's death has been a major factor in [her] recent illness," he added.

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