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Mystery surrounds death of student Leke Adelaja on train tracks

By Joe Wright

A “flamboyant and spontaneous” student seen walking along the edge of a railway line in the dark was killed after being hit by a train, an inquest heard.

Leke Adelaja, a hard-working interior architecture student at the University for Creative Arts, died instantly from multiple injuries on November 27 last year.

Mystery surrounds the 20-year-old’s tragic death, which is being investigated by Kent Police and the British Transport Police.

Leke Adelaja
Leke Adelaja

At the inquest opening, Canterbury Coroner’s Court was told how the fashion-conscious Superdry worker, who was wearing an olive-coloured coat, was spotted by concerned passersby who alerted the emergency services.

Mr Adelaja’s motives were not clear to them as he “seemed very normal” despite trespassing near to the tracks by New Dover Road and St Augustine’s Road in Canterbury.

A police squad car was on its way to the scene when the student, originally from Nigeria, was hit by a train just after 5pm. A train driver controlling the Faversham to Dover Priory service reported thinking they may have struck a dog on the journey.

A former pupil of Wilmington Grammar School in Dartford, the “vibrant and talented” Mr Adelaja lived in Gordon Road with fellow students.

Housemate Daniel Van Orsouw told the court how his friend left the home without his keys or trusted headphones.

“I was in the kitchen when he came down the stairs,” he said.

“I asked if he was all right but his face was very blank. He looked troubled. He then went out the front door.”

Independence and a lack of communication, however, were not an uncommon trait for Mr Adelaja. He would often “be in his own bubble” but that was an aspect of his individuality loved by his friends, the inquest heard.

Said to be an extravagant student with a bubbly sense of humour and radiating smile, he had a flair for unique design and knew how to creatively think outside the box.

Following his death, a glass of bleach-like liquid and a bowl of cut apples were found in his room. The inquest was adjourned by assistant coroner Geoffrey Smith while he awaits the results of the police investigation.

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