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Man killed by train after game of 'chicken'

Published: 5:11AM Wednesday February 06, 2013 Source: Fairfax

  • Police emergency (Source: ONE News)
    Police emergency - Source: ONE News

Pedestrian safety around Addington's burgeoning bar scene is under the spotlight after a Christchurch man's death at a railway crossing.

Murray Bruce Miller, 26, was killed while crossing the railway line in Lincoln Rd about 10pm on Monday.

Police said initial inquiries indicated Miller and another person were walking along Lincoln Rd towards Moorhouse Ave before Miller appeared to have tried to outrun a train.

Lights and bells were on at the time and the barrier arms were engaged.

With the city centre shut down, Addington has blossomed into one of the city's leading social districts, but this has meant more people walking from the new bars that have popped up.

Last night, Chris Cairns Foundation spokeswoman Megan Drayton said the location would be safer if an overbridge was in place. The foundation was set up by former New Zealand international cricketer Chris Cairns, whose sister, Louise, was killed when a cement truck did not stop at a level crossing and struck the train she was in.

However, Drayton said people still had to take responsibility for their own actions.

"Engineering is only part of the solution at level crossings - people must act responsibly and obey the warning devices that are there to protect them."

She said the cost, of about $5 million, also meant an overbridge was not always a "practical solution".

Addington bar owners and managers said yesterday the intersection was safe for pedestrians.

Simon Brown, the manager of Cargo Bar/Bean Scene, believed the lights and barriers were sufficient warning.

"Our bouncers are also looking out for people who may have had too much to drink and make sure they're not just wandering around," he said.

Dux Live owner Richard Sinke said it was hard to control patrons once they left the premises.

"We work very closely with the liquor licensing agencies and police to make sure we provide a safe environment for our patrons. However, it is hard once patrons leave any bar to be responsible for their behaviour."

Sinke said he had never seen an accident at the Lincoln Rd railway crossing.

The manager of a Lincoln Rd bar, who did not want to be named, said she could not understand how someone could get hit at the intersection.

"There are big arms and flashing lights. You'd have to go around them to get on to the tracks, and the trains are very loud.

"I can't see how you wouldn't see a train. It's pretty safe there," she said.

Miller was hit by the train and was carried some distance down the line.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. The death has been referred to the coroner.

A KiwiRail spokeswoman said the train driver had been stood down after the "traumatic experience".

The spokeswoman said the company urged people to take heed of the warning signs and alarms at level crossings.

The only incident at the crossing since 1980 had been a non-injury collision between a vehicle and a train in 2001.

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