A TRAIN was involved in two separate fatal incidents just hours apart on the same day, an inquest has heard.

The train was being driven for repairs and cleaning after the first death on the tracks when it struck another person.

The inquest heard that Gary Tippetts intentionally stepped into the path of the oncoming Cross Country Trains engine on the line off Puriton Road, Huntspill, on January 17 this year.

Machine operator Mr Tippetts, 60, of Adams Close, Highbridge, had earlier left work in Clevedon, telling colleagues, including his son, he was off to an appointment at Specsavers and would return afterwards.

But instead he drove to Sedgemoor Services, bought a pad and wrote a suicide note, in which he apologised to his family, saying he was suffering "blackness" and "panic attacks and anxiety".

Train driver James Burgess said he had being told to drive the engine non-stop to Bristol after it had been involved in a fatality at Powderham Starcross, in Devon, stopping only to drop off the woman driver involved in that incident at her home town station in Highbridge.

In a written statement to the inquest, Mr Burgess said he had slowed to 90mph at Huntspill when he noticed a man on the tracks walking towards the train.

He applied the emergency brakes and sounded the horn, but the man simply turned his back and a collision was inevitable, the inquest heard.

Mr Tippetts wife of 30-years, Beverley, said her husband had recovered from a kidney transplant in 2015 and the couple had recently enjoyed a family cruise together. In a statement read to the hearing, she said she was unaware he was depressed.

Tony Williams, the senior coroner for Somerset, recorded a conclusion of suicide.

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

The Samaritans can be contacted on the free national number 116123, or e-mail jo@samaritans.org or alternatively contact Somerset CRUSE bereavement on 01458-898211 or e-mail somerset@cruse.org.uk