Rail company to put more secure barrier in after Duffield solicitor rail death

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Network Rail has committed to putting a more secure barrier in place at a stretch of rail line in Duffield following the tragic suicide of a retired solicitor in May.

The news came as South Derbyshire coroner Louise Pinder heard how David Leyland, 70, died of multiple injuries after being hit by a high-speed train between Makeney Road bridge and the Church Drive footbridge on May 30.

Paul Simmonds, a rail fatality investigator for British Transport Police, told the inquest into Mr Leyland’s death how at about 12.45pm on the same day the train’s driver saw Mr Leyland near the road-bridge over the tracks and immediately put the train into emergency braking and sounded its horn.

He said: “He saw Mr Leyland put himself in a position of danger on the track and could not stop the collision from taking place.

“After the collision the train came to a stop approximately half-a-mile later.”

Mr Simmonds confirmed that Mr Leyland was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

He later added: “I can confirm it is likely that Mr Leyland left home on the morning of May 30 and walked towards the road-over bridge.”

Coroner Louise Pinder told the inquest that doctors confirmed Mr Leyland, of Tower Street, had a history of depression and suffered ongoing suicidal thoughts and that in the time leading up to his death he had been in a low mood.

Mrs Pinder concluded that Mr Leyland died as a result of suicide.

• If you need someone to speak to in confidence, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.