Monks Eleigh: Star student left a neat pile of his belongings beside the track before he was hit by a train, inquest hears
11:30 22 March 2014
Mystery still surrounds the death of a star student hit by a train after a coroner recorded an open verdict.
Twenty-year-old Andrew Towers, of Monks Eleigh, died in September 2012 near to the Burnt House Farm rail crossing, opposite Wyatts Lane in Little Cornard.
At Wednesday’s inquest into the death, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said there were too many “unanswered and unanswerable questions” to conclude that Mr Towers had committed suicide, with a pile of his belongings left neatly by the side of the track the only possible indication he deliberately took his own life.
No suicide note was left, while enquiries after the accident have failed to uncover any explanation.
Mr Towers had discussed meeting up with friends later in the month, while his academic success and sociable personality led Dr Dean to say the 20-year-old “had everything to live for”.
He added: “There is no note, there is no conversation, there is no evidence from any networking site – there is no direct evidence of intent.
“We cannot rule out the possibility of this being a very, very tragic accident.
“Exactly what he was doing there is not known, but we’ve heard much about a young man who clearly had everything to live for.
“It is quite possible he was there because it was a very beautiful and very scenic area. There are unanswered and unanswerable questions about this tragedy.”
Having gained four A*s during his A Levels at Thomas Gainsborough School, Mr Towers had completed two years of a Chemistry degree at Durham University, and was on course to get a First. He then hoped to study for his PhD.
The inquest also heard that Mr Towers had mentioned he still liked to go for a walk or run at a “favourite spot near a river”. The rail crossing where the incident happened is very close to the River Stour.
A statement read out on behalf of Mr Towers’s family said: “Andrew had a real passion for life, an inquisitive mind and a plan for his future. He enjoyed being with his friends, and made time to help them in any way he could.”