Boy killed by train after school gossip

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 June 2016

Matthew Brittan

Matthew Brittan


A 14-year-old Weston schoolboy was killed after he walked in front of a train at an unmanned crossing, an inquest heard this week.

Matthew Brittan, a pupil at Worle Community School in Redwing Drive, was killed instantly when the 70-tonne train struck him at around 4.50pm on February 1, at Finch Close foot crossing in Worle.

Avon Coroner’s Court was told he had left a note to his family after struggling to deal with how news of a ‘liaison’ with a female friend the previous day had spread around the school, but coroner Maria Voisin said she could not be sure of his intentions.

The court heard the driver of the train sounded the horn twice and applied its emergency brake when he saw Matthew approaching the crossing, but could not avoid the collision.

John Wilson, of British Transport Police, told the court: “He departed Weston Milton and was going at around 40mph when he saw a person approaching the crossing and sounded the horn.

“The person moved back, but then walked directly in front of the train. Despite applying the brake, there was nothing he could do in such a short distance.”

Matthew was pronounced dead from his injuries at 5.10pm, and a note was later found by his family.

British Transport Police later interviewed one of his friends in the wake of the tragedy, and they shed light on the incident from the previous day.

Mr Wilson said: “A statement from a female school friend gave an explanation of their friendship.

“Matthew and another girl had a liaison the day before the incident, and it went viral around the school. It appears he could not handle this.”

Coroner Maria Voisin recorded a narrative verdict for Matthew’s death, after his family had told the court of the final conversation he had with his mother on the day of his death.

She said: “I am mindful that Matthew told his mother he would see her later so I believe it would be appropriate to summarise with a narrative conclusion.

“Matthew Brittan walked into the path of a moving train, but I cannot be sure of his intention to take his own life.”

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 16:00

Social media users are calling for staff parking charges to be scrapped at Weston General Hospital after it was revealed employees forked out almost £150,000 to park their vehicles.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

The Original Rude Boy will be heading to Bristol this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:01

Local punk band The Run Up will open for Irish folk punk legends Flogging Molly when the Fireball-Fuelling the Fire tour hits the O2 Academy Bristol, next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Award-winning drama The Madness Of George III will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre Live’s first ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse on Tuesday.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A charity ice skating session raised hundreds of pounds for Weston Foodbank.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

An old school building which is used for nature education and connects people with one of the area’s finest beauty spots will be flogged by the local authority.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:24

Mini Christmas stockings and festive trees are now on sale at Weston Hospicecare.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 12:00

Plans to address shortcomings in special needs education provisions have been approved by a Government watchdog, which previously raised ‘significant concerns’ over services run in the district.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A Weston business owner is ‘proud’ after being named among Britain’s best small shops.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:48

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from September 24 to October 3.

Read more
In The Dock

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists