Student wearing stilettos fell under train after drinking vodka, inquest hears

The Argus: INFECTIOUS SMILE: Megan Moore INFECTIOUS SMILE: Megan Moore

A 16-year-old student wearing stiletto heels slipped to her death beneath a train during a Saturday night out with a friend, an inquest heard today.

The combination of the heels plus a high level of alcohol in Megan Moore's system may have caused her to become unsteady on her feet, investigators said.

She had been running beside the train, tapping on the window of a carriage, as it started to gain momentum.

But she fell through the gap between the platform and the train at Angmering station, near Littlehampton, West Sussex, and died instantly just before midnight on November 21 last year.

An inquest at Worthing Town Hall heard that before the tragedy she had telephoned her father in "good spirits" and telling him: "I love you."

Megan had been on the night out with friend, Sara Cheevinny-Yos, and together they bought a bottle of vodka and Red Bull before eating at an Indian restaurant in Worthing.

On the return train journey the pair boarded the 22.17 London Victoria to Bognor Regis Southern service and placed the vodka bottle behind a seat.

Off-duty railway cleaner Kelly Tourle said that as she walked through their carriage she and her sister heard glass smashing and turned round to see Megan and Sara.

Miss Tourle said: "My sister assumed that it had been thrown but I just heard it. My sister said, 'Who threw that?' or something along those lines. They said, 'Oh, it wasn't me' and then we just left it at that."

Miss Tourle said the two teenagers appeared happy and were not aggressive.

Later, after the train stopped at Angmering station, she told how she turned to see Megan tapping at the window of her carriage from the platform.

"It was more like a whack," she said. "I looked round and there were two girls standing there. We were stationary and then the train was about to start."

Megan began running beside the train as it started to gain speed, but slipped and fell between the gap, killing her instantly.

Train conductor Stephanie Meek spotted Megan running beside the train after she had gone through her check procedures and indicated to the driver that it was safe to move on.

She said: "I remember seeing Megan banging on the window and then the train going into motion. I thought, 'What on earth is she doing?' because it's so unusual. Then I thought she might move away.

"I was situated about two carriages away. My next thought was that she must be caught because the train started to pick up speed and she was staying right next to it.

"She then fell and I thought, 'Oh my God, she has fallen'."

Passenger Louise Byers, a trainee solicitor, said: "I remember thinking as she was moving with the train that it was a dangerous act.

"My impression was that she had lost balance and fallen. My first reaction was complete shock. Her friend was in complete shock and started screaming."

Ms Meek indicated to the driver to make an emergency stop.

In a statement, Sara said: "I was walking out of the station and saw Megan running with her hands against the window of the train. I said 'No' or 'Get off' but I don't think Megan heard me."

Inspector Gary Ancell, of the British Transport Police (BTP) said Megan had a blood alcohol reading of 242mg per 100ml - making her three times the legal drink-drive limit.

He said: "The alcohol, plus Megan wearing heels, may have resulted in her becoming unsteady on her feet and falling."

Derek Epps, head of safety at Southern, said he was satisfied that Megan had not been caught by anything.

He added that staff had abided by the rules and regulations and their investigations had not found any need to tighten their safety processes.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield said the death of Megan, a media student at Chichester College who lived with her family in East Preston, West Sussex, illustrated the consequences of young people consuming high levels of alcohol.

Ms Schofield said alcohol can make young people feel "invincible" and she expressed hope that other youngsters would gain lessons from the case.

She said: "I have considered the evidence and I'm satisfied that Megan's death was a tragic accident."

She added: "I'm satisfied that nobody could have prevented this tragic accident happening."

The inquest heard that Sussex Police was investigating the store which sold the vodka to the girls.

In a statement outside the hearing, Megan's family said she was a "caring and fun-loving" girl whose death had impacted on the lives of many people.

They said: "Megan was really happy and enjoyed life.

"She was excited and optimistic about her future after starting a media course at college, which she was working hard at and enjoying immensely.

"Megan will be remembered by her family and many friends for her kind nature, her wicked sense of humour and her infectious smile."

Comments (23)

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4:50pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Le Chiffre says...

"The inquest heard that Sussex Police was investigating the store which sold the vodka to the girls. "
This happened last November. How long does it take the police to 'investigate' the illegal sale of alcohol to a youngster, as they seem to know which shop it was.
Yet another tragic waste of a young life through over consumption of alcohol.
When is the government going to do something about the widespread underage drinking that is endemic in today's society?
"The inquest heard that Sussex Police was investigating the store which sold the vodka to the girls. " This happened last November. How long does it take the police to 'investigate' the illegal sale of alcohol to a youngster, as they seem to know which shop it was. Yet another tragic waste of a young life through over consumption of alcohol. When is the government going to do something about the widespread underage drinking that is endemic in today's society? Le Chiffre

5:02pm Tue 27 Jul 10

davyboy says...

Le Chiffre wrote:
"The inquest heard that Sussex Police was investigating the store which sold the vodka to the girls. "
This happened last November. How long does it take the police to 'investigate' the illegal sale of alcohol to a youngster, as they seem to know which shop it was.
Yet another tragic waste of a young life through over consumption of alcohol.
When is the government going to do something about the widespread underage drinking that is endemic in today's society?
the responsibility cannot lie solely with the stores. whilst i would agree that these store should be checking more thoroughly, there has to be some parental responsibility too. there is not this problem abroad, where generally children learn about alcohol from a young age, often being given watered down wine with meals. over here it seems that every teenager feels that they have to 'prove' something amongst their mates. i firmly believe that the minimum age to purchase alcohol should be 25, and only with proof of age. lets face it, some 16 year-olds can easily pass for 18, and some 21 year-olds are often asked for i.d. this is a tragic case, but from the photo, i can't tell what age she was, so how could a shopkeeper. shop assistants MUST be taught to ask for i.d, but i realsise they can be intimidated by a group. there should also be a minimum of, say, 3 staff on duty in shops in the evenings, and if trouble persists, then the shop should close earlier.
[quote][p][bold]Le Chiffre[/bold] wrote: "The inquest heard that Sussex Police was investigating the store which sold the vodka to the girls. " This happened last November. How long does it take the police to 'investigate' the illegal sale of alcohol to a youngster, as they seem to know which shop it was. Yet another tragic waste of a young life through over consumption of alcohol. When is the government going to do something about the widespread underage drinking that is endemic in today's society?[/p][/quote]the responsibility cannot lie solely with the stores. whilst i would agree that these store should be checking more thoroughly, there has to be some parental responsibility too. there is not this problem abroad, where generally children learn about alcohol from a young age, often being given watered down wine with meals. over here it seems that every teenager feels that they have to 'prove' something amongst their mates. i firmly believe that the minimum age to purchase alcohol should be 25, and only with proof of age. lets face it, some 16 year-olds can easily pass for 18, and some 21 year-olds are often asked for i.d. this is a tragic case, but from the photo, i can't tell what age she was, so how could a shopkeeper. shop assistants MUST be taught to ask for i.d, but i realsise they can be intimidated by a group. there should also be a minimum of, say, 3 staff on duty in shops in the evenings, and if trouble persists, then the shop should close earlier. davyboy

5:29pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Ringmer Rich says...

I concur with the previous posts, but I don't think there is an easy solution such as raising the age for purchasing alcohol. I'm aware that many parents purchase alcohol for their kids (sixteen and seventeen year olds on the whole). Many of these kids have older siblings or relatives that purchase alcohol on their behalf as well as older friends etc. I don't think you can stop this happening at the sales point. It is something that has to be learned from a young age. Therein lies the problem. The youngsters learn from their role models - their parents and older relatives. Really it is British society that is at fault. Name any event or celebration in our society and it is always accompanied by alcohol. Eighteenth birthday, 21st birthday, stag night, hen night, wedding, Christening, anniversary, funeral, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Promotion, etc, etc.... and what is the acceptable or even expected method of celebration? Drinking to excess.
I concur with the previous posts, but I don't think there is an easy solution such as raising the age for purchasing alcohol. I'm aware that many parents purchase alcohol for their kids (sixteen and seventeen year olds on the whole). Many of these kids have older siblings or relatives that purchase alcohol on their behalf as well as older friends etc. I don't think you can stop this happening at the sales point. It is something that has to be learned from a young age. Therein lies the problem. The youngsters learn from their role models - their parents and older relatives. Really it is British society that is at fault. Name any event or celebration in our society and it is always accompanied by alcohol. Eighteenth birthday, 21st birthday, stag night, hen night, wedding, Christening, anniversary, funeral, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Promotion, etc, etc.... and what is the acceptable or even expected method of celebration? Drinking to excess. Ringmer Rich

8:36pm Tue 27 Jul 10

TheInsider says...

We have to accept that fun for young people in the UK almost always involves a large amount of alcohol and current laws are not working as young people get it from many, many sources, not just shops and some parents and relatives even allow excessive drinking among their children.
Therefore, protecting young people with tougher measures (from sales to consumption) must now be a priority so more families don't lose children to alcohol and all of us need to help support such measures.
There are many good examples of alcohol management across North America and parts of Europe but new restrictions have to be supported by adults instead of being dismissed.
Let's hope this is done following this tragedy and the family can take comfort that their daughter did not die in vain.
We have to accept that fun for young people in the UK almost always involves a large amount of alcohol and current laws are not working as young people get it from many, many sources, not just shops and some parents and relatives even allow excessive drinking among their children. Therefore, protecting young people with tougher measures (from sales to consumption) must now be a priority so more families don't lose children to alcohol and all of us need to help support such measures. There are many good examples of alcohol management across North America and parts of Europe but new restrictions have to be supported by adults instead of being dismissed. Let's hope this is done following this tragedy and the family can take comfort that their daughter did not die in vain. TheInsider

9:30pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Daily-Star says...

The legal age for children to drink alcohol at home is 5 (excluding medical products that can be given younger. Lessons learned from other europ countries have proved that taking the mystery out of drinking by the parents reduces anti-social behaviour by teenagers. My kids aged 10 and 12 have tried / sipped a variety of drinks including lager, wine, beer & cider. They are both agreed its nasty and mostly tastes vile. If challenged by peer pressure in the future - they say they will recommend a nice thick milkshake instead.
The legal age for children to drink alcohol at home is 5 (excluding medical products that can be given younger. Lessons learned from other europ countries have proved that taking the mystery out of drinking by the parents reduces anti-social behaviour by teenagers. My kids aged 10 and 12 have tried / sipped a variety of drinks including lager, wine, beer & cider. They are both agreed its nasty and mostly tastes vile. If challenged by peer pressure in the future - they say they will recommend a nice thick milkshake instead. Daily-Star

9:33pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Betty Blue says...

We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.
We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos. Betty Blue

9:48pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Le Chiffre says...

Betty Blue wrote:
We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.
Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.
[quote][p][bold]Betty Blue[/bold] wrote: We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.[/p][/quote]Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit. Le Chiffre

10:23pm Tue 27 Jul 10

cheezburger says...

Le Chiffre wrote:
Betty Blue wrote: We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.
Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.
You're being a bit harsh there. People have to accept personal responsibility for their own actions. Its no good pointing the finger. Whilst it is a tragedy that such a young life should end in this way, she did know that she was not old enough to drink, and she did know she had drunk a lot. Im not saying she deserved it before anyone jumps to that conclusion. If a shop sold her the alcohol it was in the wrong, but it wasnt the only one who was in the wrong was it. Sadly this will change nothing, no lessons will be learned, and no lives will be saved. Young people will continue to drink too much and we'll be back here again next time i imagine.
[quote][p][bold]Le Chiffre[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Betty Blue[/bold] wrote: We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.[/p][/quote]Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.[/p][/quote]You're being a bit harsh there. People have to accept personal responsibility for their own actions. Its no good pointing the finger. Whilst it is a tragedy that such a young life should end in this way, she did know that she was not old enough to drink, and she did know she had drunk a lot. Im not saying she deserved it before anyone jumps to that conclusion. If a shop sold her the alcohol it was in the wrong, but it wasnt the only one who was in the wrong was it. Sadly this will change nothing, no lessons will be learned, and no lives will be saved. Young people will continue to drink too much and we'll be back here again next time i imagine. cheezburger

10:29pm Tue 27 Jul 10

mind that gap says...

If this poor girl had been sober and wearing flat shoes would you all be complaining about the huge and unsafe gaps between trains and platforms and asking for more warnings . Which is what you should be doing
If this poor girl had been sober and wearing flat shoes would you all be complaining about the huge and unsafe gaps between trains and platforms and asking for more warnings . Which is what you should be doing mind that gap

4:35am Wed 28 Jul 10

Page the Oracle says...

I hope her family & friends are coping with her loss.
A tragedy, pure & simple. End of.
I hope her family & friends are coping with her loss. A tragedy, pure & simple. End of. Page the Oracle

7:04am Wed 28 Jul 10

Old Ladys Gin says...

A week or two back 14, yes 14, young people of a similar age were killed when they walked behind a parked train at a suburban station near Barcelona and were hit by another train.
The exact same situation may not occur here but the age of the poor victims is much the same.
Age is the only problem here and young people do not have the same sense of danger an older person should have, but not all do.
It is very sad.
A week or two back 14, yes 14, young people of a similar age were killed when they walked behind a parked train at a suburban station near Barcelona and were hit by another train. The exact same situation may not occur here but the age of the poor victims is much the same. Age is the only problem here and young people do not have the same sense of danger an older person should have, but not all do. It is very sad. Old Ladys Gin

8:42am Wed 28 Jul 10

MisterB says...

Whilst this is tragic, the blame is hers. People know there are gaps between trains and platforms sometimes and people are also aware you shouldn't run on platforms let alone next to moving trains.
Whilst this is tragic, the blame is hers. People know there are gaps between trains and platforms sometimes and people are also aware you shouldn't run on platforms let alone next to moving trains. MisterB

8:54am Wed 28 Jul 10

TheInsider says...

MisterB, people lose their awareness of safety when they have drunk alcohol, particulalry at the levels this poor young lady had.
The licensing laws should prevent under 18s obtaining alcohol - it is to protect them and their lives from danger.
However, we have to accept that current laws are not protecting children and they are getting hold of large amounts of booze or strong booze.
Last week a young lad died on the M23 after being hit by cars. Alcohol would have affected his judgement. We have children ferried to Newquay by naive parents - the kids then go on boozing sessions and die falling off cliffs.
It's time to take drastic measures with Britain's alcohol licensing and children as we have record levels of violence (young men dying needlessly in drunken brawls), children dying needlessly, record levels of obesity in the young also associated with calories in alcohol, and record admissions to hospital with peopele suffering from alcohol related illness from accident to liver problems.
It has to stop and we must protect our young people from themselves and parents and all adults have to allow the Govt to take action.
MisterB, people lose their awareness of safety when they have drunk alcohol, particulalry at the levels this poor young lady had. The licensing laws should prevent under 18s obtaining alcohol - it is to protect them and their lives from danger. However, we have to accept that current laws are not protecting children and they are getting hold of large amounts of booze or strong booze. Last week a young lad died on the M23 after being hit by cars. Alcohol would have affected his judgement. We have children ferried to Newquay by naive parents - the kids then go on boozing sessions and die falling off cliffs. It's time to take drastic measures with Britain's alcohol licensing and children as we have record levels of violence (young men dying needlessly in drunken brawls), children dying needlessly, record levels of obesity in the young also associated with calories in alcohol, and record admissions to hospital with peopele suffering from alcohol related illness from accident to liver problems. It has to stop and we must protect our young people from themselves and parents and all adults have to allow the Govt to take action. TheInsider

9:18am Wed 28 Jul 10

mind that gap says...

We tell people not to drink and drive but we cant keep them safe on the trains. My heart goes out to her parents
We tell people not to drink and drive but we cant keep them safe on the trains. My heart goes out to her parents mind that gap

9:47am Wed 28 Jul 10

tweety72 says...

we were all young once and thought how it exciting it is to take risks and bugger the consequences.
add the alcohol factor and you feel you can do anything.
no one will ever know what this young girl was thinking by running along side the train but a young life has been lost,a family left with only a memory of a daughter so my heartfelt condolences to them.
we were all young once and thought how it exciting it is to take risks and bugger the consequences. add the alcohol factor and you feel you can do anything. no one will ever know what this young girl was thinking by running along side the train but a young life has been lost,a family left with only a memory of a daughter so my heartfelt condolences to them. tweety72

11:18am Wed 28 Jul 10

ade1200 says...

Le Chiffre wrote:
Betty Blue wrote:
We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.
Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.
If anybody is a moron it is you - surely you don't think a modern day 16 year old is not capable of taking responsibility for their actions? The reason why parents and everyone else tries to teach kids the dangers of alcohol is clear, at 16 you are perfectly capable of understanding the message. This girl ignored it, pointlessly threw away her life and ruined those of her family. Others can be blamed for their part but she is primarily responsible, that's not belittling the death of a 16 year old girl it is simply a fact.

Your attitude is typical of the ever increasing blame culture in this country where we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions.
[quote][p][bold]Le Chiffre[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Betty Blue[/bold] wrote: We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.[/p][/quote]Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.[/p][/quote]If anybody is a moron it is you - surely you don't think a modern day 16 year old is not capable of taking responsibility for their actions? The reason why parents and everyone else tries to teach kids the dangers of alcohol is clear, at 16 you are perfectly capable of understanding the message. This girl ignored it, pointlessly threw away her life and ruined those of her family. Others can be blamed for their part but she is primarily responsible, that's not belittling the death of a 16 year old girl it is simply a fact. Your attitude is typical of the ever increasing blame culture in this country where we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions. ade1200

12:54pm Wed 28 Jul 10

Made In Sussex says...

Your attitude is typical of the ever increasing blame culture in this country where we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions.
-
How true this is and well done for saying it, it applies to more and more stories we see or hear in the news, tragic..yes..and the govt can be blamed for a lot of things but all too often it is someone elses fault!
Your attitude is typical of the ever increasing blame culture in this country where we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions. - How true this is and well done for saying it, it applies to more and more stories we see or hear in the news, tragic..yes..and the govt can be blamed for a lot of things but all too often it is someone elses fault! Made In Sussex

3:34pm Wed 28 Jul 10

Spanners says...

Page the Oracle wrote:
I hope her family & friends are coping with her loss. A tragedy, pure & simple. End of.
Well said, my thoughts entirely
[quote][p][bold]Page the Oracle[/bold] wrote: I hope her family & friends are coping with her loss. A tragedy, pure & simple. End of.[/p][/quote]Well said, my thoughts entirely Spanners

4:58pm Wed 28 Jul 10

J R Hurlingham says...

Truely tragic news story ... g imp ...
Truely tragic news story ... g imp ... J R Hurlingham

5:04pm Wed 28 Jul 10

Mcbl says...

J R Hurlingham wrote:
Truely tragic news story ... g imp ...
Couldn't agree more, my thoughts entirely.
[quote][p][bold]J R Hurlingham[/bold] wrote: Truely tragic news story ... g imp ...[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more, my thoughts entirely. Mcbl

8:43pm Wed 28 Jul 10

worthinglogic says...

Le Chiffre wrote:
Betty Blue wrote:
We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.
Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.
16 year olds are not children. No, they're no adults but they def ain't kids! Accidents happen... and people underage have been drinking since forever. Maybe instead of trying to stop the sale of alcohol to kids you'll next be suggesting we ban trains? Or ban high-heeled shoes? Or hang on I've got it, why not just ban the ultimate healthy and safety nightmare; the children themselves. My condolences to the family.
[quote][p][bold]Le Chiffre[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Betty Blue[/bold] wrote: We are all accountable for our own actions. You cannot blame the stores. The moral to this story is, don't drink heavy if you are wearing stilletos.[/p][/quote]Oh, shut up you moron. Someone's child died. F**kwit.[/p][/quote]16 year olds are not children. No, they're no adults but they def ain't kids! Accidents happen... and people underage have been drinking since forever. Maybe instead of trying to stop the sale of alcohol to kids you'll next be suggesting we ban trains? Or ban high-heeled shoes? Or hang on I've got it, why not just ban the ultimate healthy and safety nightmare; the children themselves. My condolences to the family. worthinglogic

9:23pm Wed 28 Jul 10

taskforce says...

"illustrated the consequences of young people consuming high levels of alcohol"

why not mention of the high heels? seems like she would have been find if it weren't for those
"illustrated the consequences of young people consuming high levels of alcohol" why not mention of the high heels? seems like she would have been find if it weren't for those taskforce

8:05pm Thu 29 Jul 10

Lolamomma says...

tweety72 wrote:
we were all young once and thought how it exciting it is to take risks and bugger the consequences. add the alcohol factor and you feel you can do anything. no one will ever know what this young girl was thinking by running along side the train but a young life has been lost,a family left with only a memory of a daughter so my heartfelt condolences to them.
Well said. The young do not have the same awareness of their own mortality as the more mature among us. I did some crazy reckless things as a teenager with no thought to my own safety or the advice of my parents. It's part of being young for a lot of people.
There are lots of "if onlys" to this heart-breakingly sad story, but the bottom line is that this is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to her poor family and friends.
[quote][p][bold]tweety72[/bold] wrote: we were all young once and thought how it exciting it is to take risks and bugger the consequences. add the alcohol factor and you feel you can do anything. no one will ever know what this young girl was thinking by running along side the train but a young life has been lost,a family left with only a memory of a daughter so my heartfelt condolences to them.[/p][/quote]Well said. The young do not have the same awareness of their own mortality as the more mature among us. I did some crazy reckless things as a teenager with no thought to my own safety or the advice of my parents. It's part of being young for a lot of people. There are lots of "if onlys" to this heart-breakingly sad story, but the bottom line is that this is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to her poor family and friends. Lolamomma

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