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Mum of girl, 16, killed by train after she sat on tracks trying to sue Network Rail for £ 22k

NETWORK Rail is being sucked by a young woman lying on a train.

Straight-A student Milena Gagic, 16, instantly when she was hit by the locomotive at Hipperholme, Halifax, in December 2014.

  Milena, 16, who was killed by a 'silent' night train in Halifax in 2014
Milena, 16, who was killed by a 'silent' night train in Halifax in 2014

The teen and her friend Amelia Hustwick had heard about "a nice place to hang out", Central London County Court.

They were sitting between the actual tracks, "laughing and giggling" because they were not trained at night.

Both girls had grown up in the local area and believed that, if any train did not work, it would sound its horn.

But since 2007, a "night time quiet period" had been ushered in, barring horns between 11pm and 7am, said barrister Stephen Glyn.

Milena's mum Leanne Gagic is now suing Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd for £ 22,124 in damages, although her case is "not about money".

LATE NIGHT TRAGEDY

They say they break their teeth in a hipper, where they hear the sound of their train tracks over 100 times a day.

A simple signing that drivers no longer sound their horn overnight would have saved her daughter's life, she claims.

But Network Rail is disputing fault, denies breaching its duty suggesting Milena was herself to blame.

Signs may have been ineffective anyway, as studies say they are frequently missed, the rail infrastructure body claims.

  The teen's mum Leanne is suing Network Rail claiming they have not adequately warned commuters about sounding their horns

Champion News Service Ltd

The teen's mum Leanne is suing Network Rail claiming they have not adequately warned commuters about sounding their horns

Mrs Gagic cut a dignified figure in the witness box as she testifies to the court this week.

Milena was studying for her A-levels when she had clocked up eleven A-stars at GCSE, her devastated mum said.

She dreamed of being a zoologist and "wanted to go to college very much," she added.

Her barrister Stephen Glyn said it was hard to see and hear approaching tracks due to curvature of the track.

And he claimed locals such as Milena and Amelia would have been lulled into a false sense of security because of the horns continued to sound during the day.

He said Network Rail has long been there a risk at the crossing because of "whistle boards", which were previously in place.

STRAIGHT-A STUDENT

But, the company banned night time horn use in 2007 due to "noise pollution complaints", the court heard.

That curfew was rolled out across the network as a "blanket rule," said Mr Glyn.

Despite knowing the risk to public safety, Network Rail had "done nothing" to mitigate the risk after removing the whistle boards, he claimed before Judge Heather Baucher.

Mr Glyn also highlighted a statement made by Milena's friend Amelia to police.

She explained how the two girls had gone out that night after going to the shop to buy ingredients for baking biscuits.

They went to a friend's house and later sat in the park where they smoked cannabis.

  Chatting with her best friend when she was killed by the train which was moving at 55mph

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Chatting with her best friend when she was killed by the train which was moving at 55mph

Post-mortem reports on Milena showed that they did not reach that level when they were crossed.

"We just sat there laughing and giggling," she said.

"The train rushed past out nowhere going very fast. I looked up and assumed that Milena had jumped out of the way.

"But then I saw her body lying in a heap ten meters away."

She added: "We thought if a train comes, it would be toot. We just did not think they ran at night."

Amelia and Milena were both "peas in a pod", she explained, adding: "She was my favorite person in the world."

They said, "We did not go there to take our lives."

The train was traveling at 55mph Amelia managed to jump out of its path.

Network Rail barrister, Helen Hobhouse, argued that it's "duty of care" what is restricted to pedestrians crossing the track.

Studies are thus "frequently not noticed or observed," she said.

She added, "There was no significant risk to anyone using the crossing between 11pm and 7am, they were carefully checked in both directions before crossing the track".

The judge reserved judgment on the case until a later date.


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