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Steven Grace stood in path of train
A GRIEVING widow described her husband as a devoted dad and family man at an inquest which heard how he killed himself by standing in the path of a train.
The inquest was told how Steven Grace had faced the train with arms outstretched and had gestured for it to come towards him before the fatal collision on June 24.
Mr Grace, of Colyer Close, Buckskin, Basing-stoke, had earlier argued with his wife of four years, Sarah, and had asked her if she and their two-and-a-half year-old son Charlie would cope without him.
Through tears, Mrs Grace told North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley that she had replied: “Of course we will”.
The 54-year-old dad died instantly on the track at the Parlour Gates foot crossing, in Oakley, at 7.53pm when he was struck by a train travelling between Bournemouth and Waterloo.
A statement from train driver Kevin Rowell was read out, saying he had sounded the horn as the train rounded the blind corner approaching the foot crossing, and he had applied the brakes when he saw Mr Grace on the tracks.
His statement read: “He faced me and raised both arms above his head. He made a ‘come towards me’ gesture with both arms.
"The man made no attempt to move out of the way. I turned my head away and heard the impact.”
Mrs Grace said the couple had discussed splitting up, but never seriously, adding: “We both knew it was just words.”
The inquest heard the couple both worked at a plastics factory, but with Mrs Grace working days and her husband often on the night shift, they rarely saw each other.
Mrs Grace said: “He felt we were not spending enough time together as a family. He idolised Charlie – he was a real family man.”
Mr Bradley said there were no traces of alcohol or drugs in Mr Grace’s body, and aside from being obese, Mr Grace was in good health.
A jury returned a verdict of suicide at the inquest, held at Alton Magistrates’ Court.