Pregnant Tweenies Star Killed On Level Crossing Weeks Before Wedding Date

14/08/2014 16:57 | Updated 20 May 2015

A pregnant bride-to-be – who was a children's favourite in the hit show The Tweenies - died just weeks before she was due to get married when a train smashed into her car.

Kay Stanley, 32, was 10 weeks pregnant when she was killed on a level crossing in Australia, an inquest heard.

The former actress was driving her VW Beetle to work when she was hit by a train and pushed 170m along the tracks.

Her fiancé, Brett Vogel, told an inquest at Sheffield, South Yorkshire, that Kay may have been blinded by the sun before the tragedy.

Kay moved abroad from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in 2004 to tour with children's show The Tweenies.

She became pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment.

Mr Vogel, explained in a statement how they were 'so happy' after finding out their IVF had worked.

They were saving news of the pregnancy until Kay's mother Gwen Bates, from Greasbrough, Rotherham, flew over for their wedding eight weeks later.

Mr Vogel said Kay was a 'very cautious driver' who always stopped at level crossings, adding: "The only explanation I can think of is the sun being behind the lights."

The tragedy happened in Melbourne in January 2008 but the inquest is only taking place now.

Kay was buried in Australia but in 2010 her mum won an order to have the body exhumed and repatriated and buried in Britain.

At the opening of the hearing, witnesses described hearing a 'loud bang' before the train appeared to 'pick up' the vehicle and push it along the tracks.

In a statement read to the court, driver Paul Sexton said he saw the car 'wobble for a moment' on the opposite side of the crossing before heading into his path.

He said: "It continued straight on very slowly, about 10km an hour, as if she was rolling into neutral. I was expecting her to stop but it didn't.

"Just before the VW went over the crossing I saw it turn but it was too late."

The inquest heard the level crossing did not have boom barriers in place at the time but they were installed two weeks later.

One of the train's two drivers said trees partially blocked the view of the crossing and waiting drivers couldn't see the track because of a fence.

Both drivers said the level crossing warning system was working and the train's whistle was sounded twice before the impact.

An investigator for rail operator Connex said: "Indications are that the driver of the VW failed to respond."

But a report created for an Australian inquest by expert John Lambert said Kay had slowed down at the crossing.

His report claimed a data log showed the train had been travelling at 85kph on an 80kph stretch of track earlier in its journey and that the train's whistle was first sounded 'ten seconds later' than it should have been.

A contrasting expert report said the Lambert report used a 'crude calculation' method and parts were 'not accurate'. Ms Bates said she 'just wanted the truth' about her daughter's death.

The inquest continues.


Suggest a correction