South Yorkshire mum’s ‘no warning’ fears

Kay Stanley, who was killed when her car was hit by a train at a level crossing in Australia
Kay Stanley, who was killed when her car was hit by a train at a level crossing in Australia

A pregnant teacher killed when her car was hit by a train did not have ‘ample warning’, her grieving mum told her inquest.

Gwen Bates said her 32-year-old daughter Kay Stanley would ‘never ever have driven through’ red warning lights and the former actress had helped teach youngsters about rail safety in an educational show called I Dare You.

Former Rotherham resident Miss Stanley was 10 weeks pregnant and due to be married when her Volkswagen Beetle was hit by a train at the level crossing in Tyabb, near Melbourne, Australia.

When asked if there was any explanation she could think of for her daughter’s car been on the crossing, retired psychiatric nurse Ms Bates, of Greasborough, Rotherham, said: “She wasn’t given ample warning.

“I know she would never ever have driven through red lights. “

Ms Bates also told Sheffield Coroner’s Court Miss Stanley had been ‘full of the joys of spring’ the night before she died, in January 2008, when they spoke on the telephone.

The former Kimberworth Primary School pupil had not suffered with morning sickness, used the crossing frequently and was a ‘very cautious’ driver.

Ms Bates described how housing and a fence near the crossing ‘totally blocked off’ one view of the train tracks for approaching drivers.

She questioned reports that two witnesses driving behind Miss Stanley had seen the level crossing warning lights working and why boom barriers were installed there two weeks after her death.

She also told the inquest: “I do know that in 2008 there were 22 deaths at level crossings in Australia, 15 of those were at active level crossings and it is not uncommon.”

The inquest earlier heard that the train had been travelling at speeds higher than it should have been earlier in the journey.

The data was not highlighted in a report because speeds were less than 10 kilometres over limits and travelled at for less than one kilometre.

The inquest continues.