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Missing last train led to rail track tragedy

JADE KENYON: a gifted artist and dancer. Picture courtesy Photography new < id
JADE KENYON: a gifted artist and dancer. Picture courtesy Photography new < id

A TALENTED teenager who was electrocuted as she took a short cut along a railway line had probably drunk enough alcohol to impair her judgment.

Jade Kenyon, 17, had consumed one and a half times the legal drink-drive limit, an inquest was told.

Jade, a student at Snodland's Holmesdale Technology College, near Rochester, a gifted dancer and artist had shared a bottle of cider with her friend, Corinne Flynn, also 17, hours before the accident on the night of Monday, June 19.

The inquest at Gillingham heard the friends had spent the evening with two other friends in Cuxton. They decided to walk home along the Medway Valley railway line from Cuxton to Snodland when they missed the last train.

They evaded the sight of a railway signalman to run onto the edge of the track shortly before 11pm. Miss Flynn told the inquest the pair had thought it would be a more direct route home.

The girls had been walking for about 20 minutes when they came to a bush which forced them to go up nearer the rails to get around it.

It was then that Jade, of Covey Hall Road, Snodland, lost a shoe and asked her friend to light up her phone so she could look for it.

As Miss Flynn rummaged in her bag she turned back to look at her friend and saw her lying on the rails.

Miss Flynn went to pull Jade off the rail but was blown clear as she touched her.

She went back and succeeded in dragging her off the line and cradled her in her arms as she shouted for help.

Home Office pathologist David Rouse told the inquest the level of alcohol found in Jade’s blood could have impaired her judgment. She had 126 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

Coroner Roger Sykes said: "I am sure that neither girl felt that they were particularly intoxicated yet I am equally sure that without the drink they wouldn’t have been where they were when they were.”

Verdict: accidental death.


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