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THE MERCER RAILWAY FATALITY.

INQUEST AT THE HOSPITAL. An inquest was held yesterday morning at the Auckland Hospital touching tho death of Richard Walter West, who died in the institution on tho previous day from injuries received at the Mercer railway station on Wednesday evening. Mr. William Forrest, of Paaroa, was coroner, and Mr. J. RBrighton was chosen foreman of the jury. Mr. Tlieo. Cooper watched the case for the Railway Department, and Sergeant Forbes was prosent on behalf of tho police. Dr. Baldwin, medical superintendent at the hospital, said the deceased man was admitted to tho hospital on Wednesday night, in a condition of extreme collapse. Both feet were badly crushed, the right leg was fractured, and tho right knoo joint crushed. He gradually sank, and died at a quarter to three a.m. on the following day. His injuries wore such that nothing could have saved his life.

Goorgo Henry Murdoch, acting enginedrivor, who was driving the engine which ran over West, gavo evidence. Tho engine having finished tho journey from Auckland was bein- taken to tho engine shed, where West was to clean it. While it was passing the end of the platform, West made a rush and attempted to get on (he step, but missed his hold and fell between the engine and tho platform. Witness felt tlio engine "lift" as it went over his legs. The engiro was being driven at about five or six miles per hour. Witness had no idea that West was going to jump on tho train, as he had no business to do so.

To Sorgeant Forbes: No one excopt shunters and those employed in driving an engine had any right to jump on it while in motion.

Henry Nathaniel Haynes, locomotive en-gine-driver, said ho was on the platform at tho time of the accident, and saw West jump on tho stop. Thoro were a number of people on the platform at the time, waiting for the election .results, and ho thought that West was probably talking to some one until tho engine was nearly abreast, of him. when ho rushed straight at. it, without running alongside as was tho usual custom. Consequently on jumping on tho step, ho missed his hold of the front bar, and was swung backwards, and finally slipped down, and struck the platform. He was a very careful man, and witness had nevor seen him drunk.

To Sergeant Forbes: It was against tho rules for engine-cleaners to jump on a moving train, and lie had heard of cases when they wero fined for doing so. It was, however, understood that they did so at their own risk. There should have been no danger. as tho train was moving very slowly. To Mr. Cooper; The driver was not to blame, and tho accident was West's own fault.

Evidence was also given to show that after tho accident occurred the Department had West brought to Auckland by a special train, and sent, for a doctor, who accompanied him to the hospital. Tho jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and added a rider to the effect that no blame was attachable to any of tho railway officials.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH18991209.2.31

Bibliographic details

THE MERCER RAILWAY FATALITY., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 11241, 9 December 1899

Word Count
529

THE MERCER RAILWAY FATALITY. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 11241, 9 December 1899

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