High-speed train death accidental — (BBC NEWS)

SSRI Ed note: Man given antidepressants and tranquillizers for panic attack becomes suicidal, lies on train track, is killed, coroner does not find suicide.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK

Former county rugby player Robert Matuszczyk was depressed when he was killed by a high-speed commuter train, an inquest heard.

Mr Matuszczyk, 40, of Sherrards Wood, Hertfordshire, had walked out of The Priory Clinic in North London where he was being treated for his illness.

He got off a train at Welwyn North Station in Hertfordshire, near his home, and lay down on the track where he was struck by a commuter train from Kings Cross to Peterborough train on 16 January.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died from multiple injuries.

Voluntary patient

Hatfield Coroner’s Court heard that Ipswich-born Mr Matuszczyk, an insurance company representative, had been an outstanding rugby prop forward playing for Loughborough University and Hertfordshire.

But last year after a panic attack he developed a depressive illness.

Dr Neal Brener, the consultant psychiatrist who was treating him at The Priory, where he was a voluntary patient, said he was very anxious.

He was taking anti-depressants and tranquillisers.

Accidental death

Dr Brener said when Mr Matuszczyk had missed a dose of tranquilliser when he left the clinic to catch the train to Welwyn.

Mr Matuszczyk’s wife, Amanda, said she had spoken to her husband that day and in conversations with the doctor on earlier occasions he had said he thought he should be at home.

Coroner Edward Thomas recorded a verdict of accidental death saying there was not enough evidence to show he had wanted to kill himself.

He said he had missed his medication and may have suffered a panic attack which would have caused him to lie down.