‘Railway death son was my rock in life’

Nicholas and Elizabeth Beerman

Nicholas and Elizabeth Beerman

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

THE mother of a 22-year-old man who was killed when he walked in front of a train in Kidlington has described him as her “rock”.

Bletchingdon resident Elizabeth Beerman, 51, spoke after Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday that Nicholas Beerman died instantly when he was hit by an express train at Roundham level crossing on Tuesday, March 25.

She denied he wanted to take his own life and believed he was just careless.

Ms Beerman, who has four other children, said after the inquest: “Nicholas was a great kid – generous, kind and very respectful. He was a gentleman and everyone who knew him said the same.

“He was my rock. I always called him that and he knew he was. He would never let anyone upset or disrespect me and was there for me, whether it was money, jobs that needed to be done or just a cuddle.

“It’s been awful and I still can’t believe it.”

Mr Beerman, a former pupil at Marlborough School in Woodstock, was said to have been unhappy at his job as a warehouse worker at Sainsbury’s in Summertown. He had been named Colleague of the Year last August, but was said to have had minor issues with other staff. He tried to resign twice, including on the day he died, citing “family issues”, which his mum believed was an excuse because he didn’t like his job.

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Mr Beerman, who lived with his mum in Valentia Close, regularly visited his grandparents Jane and Tony in Kidlington after work. He had left their house when he walked in front of the train, which was travelling at about 100mph between Oxford and Banbury stations at about 11.45am.

Train driver Paul Flanigan said in a statement that he suddenly saw a man walk on to the track and stop, despite him sounding the horn. A post-mortem examination showed Mr Beerman died of multiple injuries.

Speaking during the inquest, Ms Beerman said her son’s state of mind seemed normal in the days leading to his death.

She said: “He always used to walk with his earphones in – it was silly and he would be in his own little world. He wouldn’t take much notice when crossing the road and I told him so many times. It’s probably the same as he was doing at the crossing.”

Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said there was not enough evidence to conclude either suicide or accidental death and recorded an open verdict.

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