Who was Sammi-Jo Edwards? Mom-of-seven who drank 15 cans of lager daily after being furloughed killed by train
Sammi-Jo Edwards, 41, had been furloughed in March and had 'spent all of her time at home' amid the coronavirus shutdown, said her partner
A mother of seven who was said to be struggling with the lockdown, died after she was struck by a train, an inquest was told. The woman would drink up to 15 cans of lager per day. Sammi-Jo Edwards, 41, had been furloughed in March and had "spent all of her time at home" amid the coronavirus shutdown, according to her partner Victor Jamie Cullingham, the Daily Mail reports.
The inquest which took place at Taunton Coroner's Court in Somerset heard that Edwards "struggled with lockdown" and had started to drink a lot more than before. During the pandemic, Cullingham said that Edwards was "drinking 14 to 15 cans of lager most days" and had drunk 15 cans of beer on the day she had died. She had left from the family home in Wellington in the evening before she was struck down by a train at a crossing. According to a post mortem, Edwards had died from multiple traumatic injuries and toxicology showed that she was more than three times the legal drink and drive limit.
Senior coroner Tony Williams had ruled out suicide and said, "Her intention at that time has not been established." Edwards was living with Cullingham in Westford Grange and had cared for their children: Three of theirs and four from previous relationships. Cullingham told the inquest that even though she was the biological mother of five children, she was regarded as a mother to all seven. He added that Edwards did not leave behind any notes or texts to her family and he does not believe that she tried to purposely end her life.
On the night of June 28, a neighbor and friend of Edwards, Karen Kingdom, had called her many times while she was by the railway track, the inquest was made aware. Kingdom had begged and urged her friend to return home and asked her to think of her kids but Edwards kept hanging up. Her friend then decided to rush to the scene and heard the sound of a horn in the background on the phone. The train driver Matthew Sutton shared that he had been driving a ten-car train from Exeter when he had caught a glimpse of movement ahead on the side of the track.
He shared, "I quickly realized it was a person who appeared to be squatting, crouching down, clear of the line but posing an extreme danger. They seemed to rocking backwards and forwards." He tried to use his emergency brakes and was unsure if the train had hit the woman.
"I didn't feel a bump and I wasn't sure if I had struck anyone," he revealed. Cullingham had told the inquest how he had to break the news to his children. "It was two days after our youngest's fifth birthday. Telling him his mum wasn't coming home was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It seems the train came along, she stood up, stumbled and put her arms out, hitting the side of the train. It was a total accident."