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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 19:38 GMT
Rail crash driver 'had no fears'
Deborah Martin with the couple's children Louise and James
Messages of support have provided the family with some comfort
The widow of the train driver killed in the Berkshire rail crash has said he never voiced any fears about the safety of level crossings.

Stanley Martin was driving the train when it hit a car parked on a crossing and derailed, killing seven people.

Speaking from their home in Torquay, Devon, his wife Deborah said: "Knowing that people had died on his train would have been devastating to Stan."

Mrs Martin, 43, said her husband did not believe the railways were unsafe.

Surrounded by their children James, 15, and Louise, 13, and Mr Martin's 21-year-old daughter Sian from a previous marriage, she said he "loved" his job.

It has made our family realise just how highly he was thought of by friends, colleagues and members of the travelling public
Deborah Martin

"He had done that run many, many, many times and I was never worried abut his safety when he went to work," she added.

The crash was described as a "tragic accident" by the government after a report found no fault with rail equipment or staff.

The First Great Western train from London Paddington to Plymouth hit driver Brian Drysdale's car after he stopped on a level crossing near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire.

But asked whether she thought there should be some kind of warning for drivers if there was anything on the line at level crossings, Mrs Martin said she felt in normal circumstances "they were safe enough".

She said her husband, who started out as an engine cleaner, was a "very proud, professional and competent train driver".

Stanley Martin
Mr Martin would have been "overwhelmed" by the response

"During his 39 years on the railway he has had made many friends and carried many millions of passengers safely on their journeys," she said.

"As a result of him being tragically killed, it has made our family realise just how highly he was thought of by friends, colleagues and members of the travelling public."

She said the family had been comforted by the many cards and letters they had received.

"I am very proud to be Stan's wife, and I know he would be overwhelmed by the response to his death," she added.

An interim health and safety report found Mr Martin, 54, had just two to three seconds to apply the brakes when he realised a car was on the crossing.

Police are still investigating the possibility that Mr Drysdale was trying to commit suicide.




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