Eastbourne mother dies after being hit by a train

An Eastbourne mother died after being hit by a train at Hampden Park station.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 4:56 pm
Tracey Walker
Tracey Walker

Tracey Walker had struggled for years with mental health problems and serious substance misuse, an inquest into her death heard on Thursday (June 13).

Just hours before her death, the 39-year-old, of Faygate Road, was taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering from smoke inhalation.

She had set fire to her clothes during a psychotic episode in a telephone box, according to mental health nurse Sally Bull, whose statement was read at the inquest.

Ms Walker suffered emotional abuse in her childhood, the inquest heard, had a “turbulent” relationship with a long term partner and had made “violent” suicide attempts at least twice previously. But she was deemed a low risk of suicide that day.

She died after being hit by a train on December 8, 2018. A toxicology report found high levels of heroin in her blood, as well as cocaine.

Coroner Alan Craze called it a “very tragic case”. He said, “The mental health [guidelines] are not fit for purpose as it doesn’t address society today. You can’t be sectioned purely to keep yourself alive.” He concluded she took her own life.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.