Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Tributes to rail crossing victims

Jean Hoggart
Jean Hoggart was praised by friends and neighbours

A seven-year-old autistic boy who died at a railway crossing along with his 56-year-old grandmother has been described as "a smashing boy".

Mikey Dawson and Jean Hoggart, 56, were hit by a train at a pedestrian crossing in Bestwood village in Nottinghamshire on Saturday evening.

County councillor Chris Baron said the boy, who attended Broomhill School in Hucknall, would be "sorely missed".

Mrs Hoggart was "a lovely, welcoming woman", her neighbours said.

Councillor Baron called the crossing "an accident waiting to happen" and called for better safety measures to be installed.

Mr Baron, 53, said gates that lock automatically when a train approaches needed to be installed.

She was very welcoming and accommodating - we spoke to her all the time
Carl Severn, neighbour

"He was a smashing lad and this accident will affect the school very badly along with his family.

He added: "If you look at it with the lack of lighting, together with the dog-legged crossing, this was an accident waiting to happen.

"Let's hope common sense prevails and we can work together in partnership to get this right."

It is understood the pair had waited for a tram to pass on the line, but were hit by a train travelling south.

'Slippery surface'

Flowers have been left at the scene of the accident.

Mikey's paternal grandmother Barbara Toon said: "He was a lovely lad - Jean thought the world of him and we all did."

A statement from Mikey's school said: "We are still trying to come to terms with this tragic event.

"Mikey will not be forgotten and in time we will work with the children to think of ways we can celebrate his all too short life."

Scaffolder Mark Griffiths, 31, who visited the scene, said: "The surface is very slippery and I think it is pathetic to tell the truth.

"The gates are too close to the track and when I have come across here I have not heard the train until it is nearly on top of me and I have then had to back off."

Neighbours of Mrs Hoggart today described her as a lovely woman.

Carl Severn, 47, said: "She was very welcoming and accommodating. We spoke to her all the time."

East Midlands Trains said Mrs Hoggart and her grandson were hit by the 1745 GMT Worksop to Nottingham train.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed and Network Rail is also investigating.


The accident happened near Bestwood village, Nottingham

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