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Jury out in signalman case
5:00pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 in Ledbury
THE jury has been sent out to decide if a signalman and Network Rail should have done more to prevent the death of a woman at a Herefordshire level crossing.
Jane Harding, who worked as a hairdresser in Bosbury, died after the car she was travelling in was in collision with a train travelling at 61mph through Moreton-on-Lugg in January 2010.
The 52-year-old’s husband Mark, who was driving, survived.
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court have heard that signalman Adrian Maund lifted the barriers after he thought that a train heading from Leominster had passed the crossing.
Mrs Harding from Marden and a mother of one, was airlifted to Hereford County Hospital, but died from her injuries.
Carol Anne Thornewell and her 12-year-old daughter, were also involved in the collision, but survived.
But Maund, who had worked at the Moretonon- Lugg signal box for 19 years, said that there were extenuating circumstances which led to his fatal error.
The court heard that a farmer had phoned Maund on two separate occasions asking if he could take his sheep across the line, only to be told that it was unsafe to do so because two trains travelling in opposite directions were shortly expected to arrive.
The distraction meant that Maund thought that the initial train had passed because he could still see cars waiting at the crossing and heard their engines revving. At the time of going to press the jury had not returned a verdict.
For the latest log on to ledburyreporter.co.uk