THE partner of a woman who died when she stumbled against an express train has been left to care for their seven children.

Family-orientated Sammie-Jo Edwards, 41, had been relaxing beside the railway track near her home in Rockwell Green before the tragedy.

Jamie Cullingham, who lived with her in Westford Grange, had to break the news to the three children they had together, along with two each they had from previous relationships.

"It was two days after our youngest's fifth birthday," said Jamie.

"Telling him his mum wasn't coming home was the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

Jamie said Sammie-Jo, who loved music and dancing, had gone for a walk on Sunday, June 28, and had lain down on the bank near the rail crossing.

Jamie added: "It seems the train came along, she stood up, stumbled and put her arms out, hitting the side of the train.

"It was a total accident."

An inquest has been opened and adjourned. The hearing was told Sammie-Jo died of multiple traumatic injuries.

Originally from Birmingham, she worked for many years at the Wheelhouse Care Home in Wellington, but had started a job at the Iron Duke pub just a fortnight before lockdown.

Jamie said: "She was very caring, always worried about everybody else, very outgoing.

"She never discussed her own problems, she was more concerned for other people.

"I'm just getting by. I'm numb at what's happened, but I have to stay strong for the kids."

A GoFundMe page in the name of Sammie's Angels has been set up to meet the costs of her funeral at Rockwell Green Cemetery on Monday, July 20 at noon.

Sammie-Jo's former workmate Fiona Gaffa said almost £1,000 had been raised in the first two days.

Fiona said: "It was such a tragic accident.

"The amount raised for the funeral shows how much she was loved in the area.

"She was a very nice lady, very caring.

"She took me under her wing and looked after me.

"She was in the care profession because she cared. She had empathy."