Student killed by train after falling onto tracks following epileptic fit

Erika Skuseviciute was struck by a driverless DLR train at Stratford station

Updated: 
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A Lithuanian student was killed by a train after having an epileptic fit and falling on the tracks.

Erika Skuseviciute, 27, was struck by one of the driverless trains of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) at Stratford station in October 2013, and inquest at Walthamstow coroners court heard last week, the Evening Standard reports.

The economics student had been visiting her 36-year-old boyfriend, Ricardas Svedkaliskas, in Woolwich to celebrate their 10th anniversary when the accident took place.

Speaking to the Evening Standard Ricardas said: "The morning of her death she told me she had a bad dream about me dying. She was quite shaken up by it but I told her not to worry. We had so many plans for our future together - I can't believe she's gone."

He added: "I was on the phone to her and then it suddenly just cut out. I thought the connection had just gone. I started getting worried when she didn't return home on time. And then the police came soon after seven and I just knew what they were going to tell me, I knew she was dead."

Erika suffered an epileptic fit, fell on to the tracks of platform 17 before being hit by the train 12 seconds later, the International Business Times reports.

A passenger on board the train is said to have alerted the passenger service assistant and an emergency button was pressed on the platform but unfortunately there was nothing that could be done to stop the train hitting Miss Skuseviciute.

DLR director Rory O'Neill said that even if the train had a driver that could apply the emergency brakes, it wouldn't necessarily have saved the student.

The DLR trains are an automated metro system that have minimal staff and steered by computers.
O'Neill added that the trains and stations are closely monitored by CCTV systems.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe recorded an accidental death verdict, saying: "There was 12 seconds in between her falling on the track and the train passing over her."

Adding: "In that time, even if someone had pressed the button on the platform it's not possible to say on the balance of probability that the train would have stopped. It's simply an unfortunate accident."

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