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Shock over Bobbing rail death of popular Sheppey pool player Aaron Armstrong from Sheerness after being hit by train at Simpsons Crossing

By Andy Gray

Tributes have been paid to a 30-year-old man who died after being hit by a train.

Popular pool player Aaron Armstrong was struck at Simpsons Crossing, near the Bobbing Apple complex.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Sheerness resident's death as an inquest was opened and adjourned today.

Pool player Aaron Armstrong died after being hit by a train at Bobbing

Trevor Layzell - who owns Layzells Club in Minster, which hosts many of the Island's top pool tournaments - said: "We were shocked to hear of Aaron's death.

"He was always up here playing pool and was a nice, quiet lad.

"He enjoyed his pool and was always polite and friendly. It's a real shame..." - Trevor Layzell

"He enjoyed his pool and was always polite and friendly. It's a real shame."

As a mark of respect to Mr Armstrong, the Isle of Sheppey Pool League has called for a minute's silence before all games due to be played today.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Armstrong, of St George's Avenue, died of multiple injuries at about 9.25am last Monday.

An inquest was opened and adjourned today at a short hearing at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone this morning.

The hearing heard Mr Armstrong was hit by a train travelling a full speed to London Victoria.

Police identified him by his fingerprints, the coroner heard. A provisional date for a full inquest was set for August 5.

Aaron Armstrong was hit by a train at Simpsons Crossing, near the Bobbing Apple complex

Mr Armstrong's death was the second at the crossing in the last five months.

It follows the suicide of Sittingbourne mother-of-two Joelli Budd, who was hit by a train there just before Christmas.

Bobbing Parish Council has contacted Network Rail to request safety improvements at the crossing.

Among the schemes suggested is diverting the footpath away from the railway line to prevent people walking across the track.

The idea of a bridge has also been mooted.

Police at the scene of the fatality near Bobbing

A parish council spokesman said: "We will not fully understand the reasons why this incident happened until the railway investigators and police have completed their inquiries.

"However, we urge the authorities to get back round the table and talk to each other on how they are going to stop or endeavour to minimise any further such incidents or even near-misses at this dangerous crossing."

A Network Rail spokesman said it was looking into putting a bridge at the crossing, but "a lot of work needed to be done" before it happened.

He said: "In the next five years, we're looking to close 30 level crossings in Kent and Sussex, and although we can't say for definite, Simpsons Crossing might be one of these."

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