A RETIRED chef with Alzheimer’s who had drunk a ‘significant amount’ of alcohol died after being struck by a train, an inquest heard.

Gerald Goodwin, 64, of Pennine Gardens, in Barrow, was walking on the tracks near Dalton station when he was hit from behind at approximately 40 mph just before midnight on November 10, 2022.  

His death was confirmed by paramedics at 00:17.

Cockermouth Coroners Court heard the train, operated by Northern, had no passengers and was travelling from Lancaster to Barrow.

A statement read into the record from his brother Alan detailed how Mr Goodwin was on his way to see him for a chat at his allotment in Barrow but missed his stop and instead alighted at Dalton.

He then contacted Alan to tell him he was going for a drink at a nearby public house which was the last time he heard from him, the court heard.

In his statement he referred to Mr Goodwin as being a ‘loving brother and father who always thought and worried about other people before considering himself’.   

The court heard Mr Goodwin had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016 and was later deemed unable to assess the risk of his own safety in 2022. He also had a history of anxiety and depression.

A toxicology report showed he had propranolol, sertraline and alcohol in his system.

Recording the death as accidental due to multiple injuries consistent of being struck by a train, Coroner Robert Cohen said: “It must be intensely traumatic for a train driver to be involved in an incident such as this.

“I sincerely hope that she is getting the support that she needs in recovering from this ordeal.

"It is more likely than not, that Gerald found himself on the railway track from the combined effect of his dementia and from the significant amount of alcohol he had consumed.

“I send my profound and sincere condolences to the family for your loss. I realise this must have been a very upsetting and traumatic situation.”

Mr Cohen also believed it necessary to submit a prevention of future death report to Westmorland and Furness Council after failings were revealed in adult social care services’ initial triage and general administration.  

He added: “I acknowledge there is extreme pressure on adult social care services. However, I am very concerned that Gerald did not require a safeguarding inquiry.

“It is not entirely clear why one social worker opened and closed the case and why paperwork was filed from one person to another. To all extent and purposes, it does seem not much was done to provide support.”