Brother’s loss led to suicide — (Leigh Journal)

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Leigh Journal

Thursday, 1 May 2003

A RECLUSIVE Nantwich teenager who never got over the sudden death of his brother died when he stood in front of a 90 mph train at Wrenbury.   An inquest at Warrington Town Hall heard how unemployed 18-year-old Alex Eaton from Burnside, Wrenbury, took his own life on September 29 last year after becoming depressed following the sudden loss of his brother David who died from an epileptic fit in 1988.

Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg heard how Alex was put on anti-depressants after climbing a ladder and refusing to come down, then overdosed in March 2002 and had to be brought off the railway line weeks before his death by his father Michael.

“He had been very affected by his brother’s death and became more withdrawn from the world as time went on,” said Mr Eaton.  “He got caught up in the internet which made him more withdrawn and was even talking to friends on it even though they only lived down the road.

“Then I think he was communicating with people who were into self-harm and threatening to commit suicide.”   Wales and Border train driver Mary Lakes broke down as she gave her account of the incident at 3.15 pm that day.

“I had signals telling me it was clear so I carried on doing 90 mph when I saw someone on the track in front of me,” she said.   “I started beeping my horn frantically but he just stayed in the track facing me and didn’t move at all.

“Even if I had put my brakes on as soon as I had seen him there was no way I would have stopped in time, it takes about a mile to stop at that speed.”

A jury gave a unanimous verdict that Alex had taken his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.