Police check link to drink in rail death

Police check link to drink in rail death

INVESTIGATION: Hunter Valley Chief Inspector Guy Guiana urged people to be alert around level crossings and railway lines. POLICE are investigating whether or not alcohol contributed to the death of a 47-year-old man who was hit by a train at Scone on Saturday night, a day after a coroner delivered recommendations into the deaths of two other men killed on the same section of railway.

Hunter Valley police Chief Inspector Guy Guiana said police were examining whether the man, a local,was travelling between licensed premises when he was struck by a northbound coal train on the Kingdon Street pedestrian level crossing about 9.45pm on Saturday.

The 47-year-old man’s tragic demise appears toshare similarities with the deaths ofJohnny ‘‘Lulu’’ Lawler, 46, and Timothy Morgan, 29.

RESPECTED: Scone drover and one-time horse trainer Johnny ‘‘Lulu’’ Lawler.

Mr Lawler died when he was hit by a coal train at the Scone railway station about 2am on August 30, 2010, whileMr Morgan died when he was hit by a train on the level crossing on Liverpool Street a few weeks before Christmas in 2015.

Both Mr Lawler and Mr Morgan had been drinking alcohol at the Scone RSL Club in the hours prior to their death and it appeared they had passed out or fallen asleep on the tracks sometime after leaving the club.

The men’s level of alcohol consumption was a factor extensively exploredduring a two-day joint coronial inquest held in Scone on November 1 and 2.

The railway line splits the township down the middle, with the Scone RSL Club on the western side and a number of pubs on the eastern side.Deputy State Coroner Magistrate Roger Prowse delivered his recommendations in Scone Coroner’s Court on December 22.

A fourth man, 29-year-old Irish nationalGavin Owens, lost his left leg, broke his back and neck andlost more than two-thirds of his blood supply when he was struck by a train while walking home from a Scone pub on August 18, 2012.

Chief Inspector Guiana said police believe the 47-year-old man’s death on Saturday night was an accident and never considered it to be a self-harm incident.

He said police were still investigating where the man was coming from and going to when he was struck by the train on the crossing, which has no flashing warning signals or barriers.

“If you’re drinking make sure you’ve got a safe way of getting home …and of coursemovements around railway lines are extremely dangerous,” he said.

Police say they will prepare a report for the Coroner.

DETERMINED: Irish National Gavin Owens lost his left leg when he was hit by a train at Scone in 2012.

Hunter Valley police Chief Inspector Guy Guiana.