Barlaston railway death was fourth in a year on same line
A MAN has been killed after he was hit by a train on a stretch of railway that has now claimed four lives in less than a year.
The unnamed victim, aged in his 30s, died on the railway close to Wedgwood Drive, in Barlaston, yesterday morning.
Four people have now been killed on the same section of track since January.
The latest death comes just days after 69-year-old retired bus driver Trevor Mason, of Fenton, died at the nearby Wedgwood level crossing on Friday.
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A spokesman for British Transport Police (BTP) said the train involved was the 8.20am London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly service.
The spokesman said: "Shortly before 10am, BTP received reports that a person had been struck by a train at Wedgwood.
"Officers attended alongside colleagues from Staffordshire Police and discovered a man, believed to be in his 30s and from the local area, had been struck and killed by a train.
"The incident is currently being treated as non-suspicious and officers will now assist in the compilation of a report for the coroner."
Residents living close to the scene said they have been left disturbed by the deaths.
Others killed on the same stretch of track include 50-year-old Mark Watts, of Trentham, who was killed near Trentham Road last month, and an unnamed victim whose body was found a few hundred yards from the Wedgwood level crossing in January.
Colin Yewdell, a 64-year-old retired Wedgwood factory worker, who lives in Hackwood Close, Barlaston, said: "This is absolutely terrible. That's two in a week.
"I think they need to make sure the lines are more carefully supervised.
"In the years I've been here I think there've been about 20 people killed, and a fair few near misses. I know some have committed suicide but you worry about accidents as well."
Forty-one-year-old Carl Hartley, who lives in Ivyhouse Drive, Barlaston, said: "There were a lot of police there so I was worried something like this had happened again.
"It may or may not have been deliberate, you just don't know. We've had it before where people have walked down the lines and they just don't know the dangers."
The deaths have also sparked concern among mental health charities.
Lorien Barber, director of North Staffs User Group, a charity that monitors mental health services, said: "It's really important that people who are severely depressed know that there is help out there.
"There is help for all sorts of different problems, and for different kinds of people, but the key thing is people should not be afraid to come forward and ask.
"People need to talk about their feelings. It doesn't even have to be a professional, it can just be a friend.
"It's just important that people get whatever it is that's troubling them out in the open."
Delays were caused as the emergency services dealt with yesterday's death, with some services diverted to Crewe.
Those affected included the Virgin service to London, the Cross Country service from Manchester to Birmingham and London Midlands' route from Crewe to the capital.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said an ambulance, a paramedic officer, an emergency doctor and the Midlands Air Ambulance were sent to the scene.
The spokesman said: "Initially the location of the incident was not clear, so the helicopter was used to establish where the incident was.
"Unfortunately, as soon as ambulance staff reached the scene it was clear that nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
"The train driver was unhurt and was left with train staff."