Tue, 18 Aug 2015
A MAN who feared he’d have to sell his home to pay for his elderly mother’s care took his own life at the notorious Ufton Nervet level crossing.
Sixty-year-old Gary Provins, of Haywood Way, Tilehurst, was struck by a train on October 16 last year, an inquest into his death held at Reading Town Hall today (Tues) heard.
In a statement read to the inquest, Paul Westbury, who was driving the 18.06pm high-speed First Great Western service from London Paddington to Frome, said he saw a "shadow or a shape" on the line, but thought it may have been an animal or an object and not a person.
The inquest heard, however, that on impact Mr Westbury "realised that it may have been a someone rather than a something".
A number of items including a mobile phone, a set of car keys, a train timetable, stanley knife and a half-drunk bottle of water were found laid out by the line.
The inquest, held just 12 days after plans to replace the level crossing at Ufton Nervet with a bridge were approved, heard how Mr Provins had lived with his mother almost all his life and became her sole carer when her health started to deteriorate.
Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said that friends of Mr Provins noticed a change in his behaviour in the weeks leading up to his tragic death, with his girlfriend of 14 months, Tracey Hall, saying he had become withdrawn, adding that "one of the pressures was caring for his elderly mother who had recently been admitted to hospital".
The inquest heard how Mr Provins had previously attempted to take his own life two days before his death.
Post mortem and toxicology reports showed that Mr Provins had not consumed any alcohol before his death.
Coroner Peter Bedford said: “I can record that Mr Gary Victor Provins died on October 16 last year at the railway crossing at Ufton Nervet.
“I conclude that he took his own life as a result of personal and social stresses in his life.”
For the full story, pick up a copy of this week's Newbury Weekly News, out Thursday.