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Riddlesdown train deaths: Inquest hears Donna Oettinger died with her son in her arms

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AN INQUEST has heard how a mother was hit by a train at Riddlesdown Station while holding her three year-old son. Donna Oettinger and son Zachary, known as Zaki, died during the rush hour on March 22. At the opening of an inquest into their deaths at Croydon Coroners' Court this morning (Tuesday), Det Chief Insp Iain Miller from the British Transport Police revealed the run-up to the tragedy had been caught on CCTV. "At around 8.30 in the morning on the 22nd of March the mother, Donna Oettinger, entered Riddledown Railway Station with her son Zaki, three years old," he said. "They are seen on CCTV to walk up the ramp into the platform. A commuter train arrived and everyone was seen to board that train except Donna and Zaki. "The train moved towards London, at which point the station was empty of all passengers. "Donna has taken Zaki to the top of the station. She waits there until she hears a horn from an oncoming train. "The driver of the train can now see them standing, as he says, too close to the platform, so he sounds his horn, at which point Donna jumps down onto the track with Zaki." The inquest heard Donna, 41 and of Lower Barn Road in Purley, died from craneo-cervical trauma and Zaki of head and body trauma. The inquest was adjourned for a serious case review to be carried out by Croydon Council.

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