A TAUNTON man who suffered from depression was seen running towards a railway line before he was struck and killed by a train, an inquest heard.

Simon Byles, 19, of Courtly Drive, Taunton, was found dead on the line near Norton Fitzwarren on February 16.

Senior Coroner Tony Williams, who recorded Mr Byles death as suicide, read a statement from Nicholas Draper, a train driver for CrossCountry, who was driving on the day of Mr Byles’ death.

Mr Draper said he was driving a train to Bristol Temple Meads and became alarmed when he saw a man running along the railway line.

"I was travelling at the 100mph speed limit along the line towards Bristol Temple Meads just off Victory level crossing and then went around a corner," Mr Draper said.

"I became aware of someone wearing an orange high-visibility jacket running on the line towards the right-hand side of the tracks."

Mr Draper said he then saw Mr Byles lay down.

"I put the emergency brakes on to stop but nothing would stop it," Mr Draper said. "I then felt a big impact on the front and side of the train.

"Having watched this incident I am of the firm opinion that this person's actions were intentional."

The inquest then heard a statement from eyewitness Graham Hunt, who said he saw Mr Byles walking along the railway line but was not sure why.

He said: "At about 3.30pm I became aware of a person on the railway line - he had a high visibility jacket on.”

Mr Hunt said he called police for help but while he was on the phone to the operator, he could see Mr Byles had been hit by the train.

The coroner then read a statement from Mr Byles' mother, Karen Taylor, who said her son had been suffering from depression for a few months before his death.

Ms Taylor said Mr Byles previously had a job as a coach mechanic but resigned a few weeks after he was signed off for stress for three weeks.

He then worked on nights at Asda for about two months before he took a holiday to stay with his father in Portugal.

Mr Byles was only due to stay with his father for a week but ended up staying there for a month.

The inquest heard when he arrived back in England Mr Byles had to be escorted off the plane by police as they believed he had been drinking.

After the incident, Ms Taylor took Mr Byles to Musgrove Park Hospital for treatment and said after he was discharged he received treatment from mental health services for his depression.

The coroner then read a number of statements from psychologists who cared for Mr Byles who said he struggled with his mental health.

The inquest heard Mr Byles suffered from suicidal thoughts and heard voices instructing him to do awful things but he managed to ignore them.

A post mortem report confirmed Mr Byles' cause of death was a traumatic head injury.

Senior coroner Tony Williams recorded a verdict of suicide and said: "It was a deliberate from Mr Byles to put himself on the track.

"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he did it by his own hand and that all other explanations can be ruled out."

There is support at hand for people who feel they need it:

The Samaritans can be contacted on the free national number 116123 (free), e-mail jo@samaritans.org or visit the branch at 16 Wood Street, Taunton, between 9am and 9pm.

Alternatively contact Somerset CRUSE bereavement on 01458-898211 or e-mail somerset@cruse.org.uk.