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Accidental death verdict recorded for quad bikers killed by train

A verdict of accidental death has been recorded at the inquest of two men killed when the quad bike they were riding collided with a train shortly before Christmas last year.

Trevor Davies, 20, and David Cooper, 24, were killed when the quad bikes they were riding on rail tracks were hit by a train in the early hours of 9 December 2009.

The inquest was told that officers believed the men were attempting a getaway along the railway line after a raid on a nearby outdoors store.

Two men believed to be with Cooper and Davies have been charged with burglary and endangering safety on a railway.

Police officers described how the noise of the quad bikes would have drowned out any sound from the train, which was running at 68mph when it hit the men.

Speaking at the inquest Det Insp Mark Cleland, of British Transport Police said: “The quad bikes would probably be quite difficult to ride and be quite noisy.

“A train at 70mph is practically silent until it’s on top of you.”

Train driver Graham Sparshott told the inquest he was driving the empty train from the Cardiff to Cheltenham at 04.10am on December 9 last year; “We were in a collision with something. I didn’t know what it was.

“For a split second before the impact, I saw what I thought was a flash of light.

“I didn’t see anybody or anything on the track.”

The jury returned verdicts of accidental death on both men.

Two men riding a second quad bike along railway lines were injured and fled the scene before later being arrested by police.

Liam Xuereb, 22, and Anthony Thomas, 23 both of Llanrumney have pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and endangering safety on a railway line .

The two men were questioned by Cardiff coroner Mary Hassall during the jury inquest but both refused to reply, claiming their right not to answer her questions on the grounds that they might incriminate themselves.

The pair are accused of stealing £40,000 worth of jackets and coats from the Go Outdoors store on Newport Road.

The case has been adjourned until 14 September.

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