A TRAIN driver told an inquest he had no time to react after a York man stepped on the track in front of him.

Martin Bennett was speaking at Wednesday's inquest into the death of Gary Parkin, who died when he was hit by a train on November 23 last year.

York's acting senior coroner Jonathan Leach concluded Mr Parkin's death was a suicide at the end of the hearing at New Earswick Folk Hall.

The Scarborough to Liverpool train struck the 38-year-old electrician near Kettlestring Farm at New Earswick, at around 1.20pm.

Mr Bennett told the inquest he routinely tested his brakes on that section of track.

"I normally brake around that area, just to see if I get a bit of wheel spin," he said. "I didn't see anybody anywhere. I looked up and there was Gary on the track. I had no time to react whatsoever."

Mr Bennett said his train was travelling at its usual speed of 70mph, which meant it needed up to a mile for it to stop.

He had been a train driver since 1991, but had not experienced a fatality before.

A post-mortem carried out by York Hospital pathologist Dr Matthew Toy found that Mr Parkin, who lived at Sycamore Place, near Bootham, had heroin, diazepam and amitriptyline in his blood.

Mr Toy described the cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries.

The inquest heard that Mr Parkin had a history of heroin addiction, which he was still battling at the time of his death.

Mr Parkin' married Joanne Wasniewska in 2009 and the couple had a daughter in March 2014.

Their relationship had broken down due to his drug problems, but in a written statement she said she still loved him and had hoped they might get back together.

A statement from Mr Parkin's father Andrew said his son started to have drug problems at around the age of 14.

Mr Parkin said: "I suppose it was always on my mind that we would receive a call like this (from the police) about him.

"I thought it might have been an overdose, I didn't think it would be like this."

Mr Parkin left a note declaring his intention to take his life.

Summing up, Mr Leach said: "There was nothing Mr Bennett could do to avoid the collision."

He recorded a conclusion of suicide.

• If you are concerned about someone or have any thoughts about suicide, phone The Samaritans on 116123.