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Joe Pickhaver named as teenager hit and killed by train in Whitstable

By Bess Browning

A teenager tragically killed after being hit by a train has been named as Joe Pickhaver.

The 16-year-old died after being struck near the Irish Village footbridge in Whitstable.

Emergency services rushed to the line at around 10pm on Saturday, but Joe could not be saved.

Ambulance crew was at the scene. Stock picture.
Ambulance crew was at the scene. Stock picture.

The Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Faversham, where Joe was a pupil, said he was a popular student with both his fellow pupils and staff.

Head teacher David Anderson said today: "It is with the deepest sadness that I confirm the news that one of our students, Joe Pickhaver in Year 11, was struck by a train and killed on Saturday night.

"This is devastating news for the whole school community and we have spoken to our students to let them know about this tragic event.

"He was what you would call a truly genuine character with a delightfully quirky sense of humour" - David Anderson, head teacher

"The school counsellor and pastoral staff have been available to support both students and staff and will also be available over the coming days.

"Joe had studied at Queen Elizabeth’s since the start of year seven.

"He was what you would call a truly genuine character with a delightfully quirky sense of humour. Joe was a gentle, kind, giving and caring person who was a popular, conscientious and capable student. He was a talented artist who also had an interest in computer science and like most young boys, he enjoyed the company of his friends and loved gaming and playing chess.

"Joe would have been completing his GCSE courses next summer and had already achieved some excellent results; his tragic and early death is a big loss to the whole school.

"The governors, staff and students at Queen Elizabeth’s offer their sincere condolences to Joe’s family and friends at this most difficult of times, we will hold them in our thoughts."

Police say the death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman added: "Officers from BTP and Kent Police attended the incident, which was reported to BTP at 9.20pm and is currently being treated as non-suspicious.

"Medics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service also attended but a male was pronounced deceased at the scene. His next of kin have been informed."

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