Tributes paid to ‘popular and kind-hearted’ Seaford teenager

Tributes have been paid to a 17-year-old boy from Seaford who died last summer.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:10 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 1:18 pm

Devante Mayers was found dead on the tracks near Normans Bay railway station on June 24 2020, an inquest heard. The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (March 11), heard Mr Mayers, a student from Hythe Crescent, had been with friends on the evening of June 23 at the beach before the group headed to The Salts recreational ground.

Jack McColl, who was at the gathering on the beach, said, “Devante was happy that night, his mood was good. He was a lovely young man.”

Correan Mayers, his mother, said, “He was bubbly, popular and kind-hearted. He had a big impact on a lot of people and he was wise beyond his years.”

Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-210216-141612001

Mr Mayers left the site with his friend Solomon Hendon around 10.15pm.

Mr Hendon said the pair split up at The King’s Head pub on Pelham Road in Seaford and Mr Mayers said he was going to get a taxi home from Seaford Railway Station.

However, Mr Mayers was shown on CCTV taking the bus from Seaford High Street to Eastbourne.

CCTV played in the inquest showed Mr Mayers then got on a train from Eastbourne railway station to Normans Bay, getting off at 11.53pm.

Iago Rodriguez, a customer experience team leader, took a call from Mr Mayers via the help point at Normans Bay railway station shortly after Mr Mayers departed the train from Eastbourne.

Toxicology reports confirmed that My Mayers’ alcohol levels were high and this resulted in the call being confused and Mr Mayers hung up.

Mr Mayers was seen on CCTV walking around the station before getting on the tracks and heading in the direction of Eastbourne. He then went out of shot of the cameras.

Just before 1am, Sussex Police attended the Norman Bay railway station with David Henner, a mobile operations manager for Network Rail, to look for Mr Mayers. Despite a police drone carrying out a search of the area, Mr Mayers was not found.

Trains were put on caution to travel at a slower speed and the search was stood down.

At 5am Mr Henner was called again due to reports of an incident near Normans Bay railway station which had been called in by a train driver.

Mr Mayers’ body was found 800 metres from the station after being struck by a train coming from Eastbourne.

From a post-mortem carried out and a meeting of the child death overview panel it was suspected Mr Mayers had tried to step off the tracks and touched the electric line – dying before the train hit him hours later.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze ruled that Mr Mayers died through misadventure.