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Train victim's friend tells of tragedy

PUBLISHED: 08:50 15 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:25 14 July 2010

Margaret Thomson

Margaret Thomson

The friend of an 83-year-old woman struck and killed by a train on a foot crossing near Attleborough station yesterday recalled the terrifying moment the accident happened.

The friend of an 83-year-old woman struck and killed by a train on a foot crossing near Attleborough station yesterday recalled the terrifying moment the accident happened.

Margaret Thomson, from Leys Lane, Attleborough, was crossing with her friend Shirley Marsters and a dog in foggy conditions when she was struck by the 07.06 Mansfield/Norwich service shortly before 10.30am on Wednesday.

“There was just this whoosh,” Mrs Marsters said. “I just turned around and Margaret was gone. We hadn't had a chance to get out of the way - the train did clip her.

“I went to see how Margaret was and there were horrendous injuries. Margaret was a very agile lady, she could hear all right and she could see all right.”

Mrs Marsters, a former nurse who turns 70 on Sunday, said the pair had built a strong friendship while walking their dogs every day after Mrs Thomson moved to the area from London three years ago.

“She was my best friend,” she said. “We went to the shrine at Walsingham last Friday and she walked for miles looking at the snowdrops. She was as good as gold and would help anybody, she was always full of jokes.”

Mrs Thomson's family were yesterday too upset to talk about the tragedy.

Train services were disrupted as the line was closed until shortly after midday while an investigation got under way.

Residents have called for safety improvements at the crossing and say it is difficult to see if a train is coming when it is foggy. They have called for warning lights to be installed.

A Network Rail spokesman said it was working closely with the British Transport Police (BTP) and will conduct a full investigation.

A BTP spokesman said: “A file is being prepared for the coroner. British Transport Police would like to express their sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.”

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