It is unclear whether the death of woman hit by a train in Oxfordshire was an accident or suicide, an inquest heard today (April 19).

Emily Hickman, aged 34, from Chipping Norton, died on November 30 last year at a level crossing in Kidlington, north of Oxford.

The incident occurred at approximately 4.30pm and the delivery driver was pronounced dead at the scene at around 5.11pm.

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A post-mortem examination found the mother-of-two’s cause of death to be massive trauma.

The inquest heard that an eyewitness had seen Ms Hickman’s car parked close to the level crossing in Kidlington at around 3.45pm and that a lone driver was inside.

A witness statement from the train driver Andrew Christie was also read out by assistant coroner Nicholas Graham at Oxford Coroner’s Court.  

He was driving a freight train south towards Oxford when the incident occurred.

Mr Christie said: “I was travelling at approximately 60 to 65 mph.

“Weather conditions were dry.

“As I drew closer to the crossing, I saw a lone female in dark clothing running onto the crossing.

“I immediately sounded the horn and applied the brakes.

“It appeared she tried to turn around but there was nothing I could do to stop the locomotive from hitting her.”

But John Wilson, a fatality investigator for the British Transport Police disputed Mr Christie’s claim that Ms Hickman had tried to turn back after reviewing the camera footage from the train.

He told the inquest that he could see no evidence of an effort made by Ms Hickman to turn back, although she did stop.

He explained that the train driver was travelling at speed and that the height that train drivers sit at means they cannot see directly in front of them on the tracks.

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Mr Wilson added that there was no evidence of third-party involvement in the incident and that the death had been recorded as unexplained- but not suspicious.

Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham told the inquest that there was insufficient evidence to rule a conclusion of either suicide or an accident.

Ms Hickman had not shown an intention previously to take her own life, nor had a suicide note been left.

There was also no explanation as to why she was at the level crossing that links Kidlington and a nature reserve on November 30.

Instead, Mr Graham gave a narrative conclusion.

He told Oxford Coroner’s Court: “On November 30 she was struck by a freight train travelling south to Oxford.

“She suffered severe injuries and died at the scene.”