Builder with ‘many friends’ in Hastings died after being hit by train

Hampden Park Train Station, Eastbourne  (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-171201-002012008
Hampden Park Train Station, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-171201-002012008

A builder died after being hit by a train near Hampden Park railway station.

Michael Reid, 27, had been walking along the tracks late at night when disaster struck, an inquest into his death heard on Thursday (July 4).

His family said in a statement to British Transport Police he had “many friends”, particularly in Hastings and St Leonards, and would often socialise there.

The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall heard the father, of Willowfield Road in Eastbourne, had been on a night out with a group of friends in Hailsham on Friday, February 22.

At the end of the night Kurtis Smith, a friend and colleague of Mr Reid, dropped him off at Hampden Park station to get a train back home at around 12.30am.

But Mr Smith said in a statement read at the inquest, “He went on at me about driving him home. He kept asking if he’d done anything wrong, I said he hadn’t but I didn’t want to drive to the other side of town.

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“He said thanks, and started walking off. He was clearly [drunk], I knew he was in a good mood throughout the evening, he was laughing and in good spirits. He didn’t seem unhappy about anything.”

Detective Inspector Thanh Ly of the British Transport Police said Mr Reid was last seen by CCTV walking towards the end of the platform.

A BTP investigation could not retrieve any further CCTV from trains or further evidence of where exactly the collision happened.

A fisherman, Michael Mantripp, who had been camping nearby heard a noise overnight, the inquest heard.

Mr Reid’s body was recovered the following day, around 100-200 yards from the station.

Coroner Alan Craze said, “There’s no evidence at all pointing towards suicide. His friend was quite clear about his mood so I discount that. He’s decided to walk home.”

He recorded a conclusion Mr Reid died of misadventure and expressed his condolences to the family.