Student Luke’s death at Paris station ‘accidental’
Teenager had been drinking heavily before train collision
The death of a teenager who was hit by a train in Paris has been ruled as a tragic accident.
Luke McCarthy, 19, from Wye, had been studying in the French capital and had been at a party with other students on the night of his death.
An inquest heard how the former Norton Knatchbull School pupil had been drinking heavily on Thursday, November 26, 2015.
Luke had gone to La Motte Picquet Grenelle, the underground station, to get the tube home but fell into the path of an oncoming train.
He was given first aid at the scene and taken to hospital but died of head and chest injuries at 4.40am the following morning, the hearing was told.
Police initially thought the victim was his friend Thomas Mansfield because the coat he was wearing had his name on it.
But Mr Mansfield, who had also been at the party, gave a statement to police saying he had lent Luke his coat when he left because he could not find his own.
Mr Mansfield said Luke had been drinking earlier in the day and it was “not the first time he had drunk too much”.
In a statement to French police, the train driver said he saw Luke “jump in front of the train”, but Chris Morris, assistant coroner for North East Kent, said he could not be satisfied Luke had tried to take his own life.
Reading his conclusion at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday, Mr Morris said: “Luke was well and happy. He kept in contact with his family through Skype and I get the impression of a happy young man who enjoyed the social aspect of university to the full.
“He had been to a party with students where he had a good time and where he had drunk a significant amount of alcohol, not because of unhappiness but because he enjoyed a drink.
“It must have come as a devastating blow and a complete shock to his family and friends when he suffered a fatal injury which led to his death.
“It appears that the French police initially viewed this as Luke attempting to take his own life, but suicide can never be presumed.
“The driver of the train did not get a good look at what happened, only that he saw a man standing away from the other passengers waiting on the platform.
“On the balance of probabilities and taking into account Luke’s state of mind, his plans for the future and the amount of alcohol he had drunk, I consider it more likely than not that Luke simply stumbled and fell on to the path of the train.”
He recorded a verdict of accidental
Luke McCarthy died after being struck by a train at La Motte-Picquet Grenelle underground station, below, in Paris. He had been at a party beforehand