A county cricketer was struck by a train as he attempted to flee police after driving while on a cocktail of drink and drugs, an inquest heard yesterday.
Former Millfield School pupil Tom Maynard, who had been widely tipped as a future England international, was found dead near Wimbledon Park station on the London Underground District line shortly after 5am on Monday, June 18, last year.
The 23-year-old Surrey batsman suffered multiple injuries caused by the impact of the train and from touching a live electric railway line, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard.
A cause of death was given as multiple injuries.
He was stopped by police less than an hour before his death when his black Mercedes was seen driving erratically but the sports star fled the vehicle. A post-mortem examination showed he was nearly four times the legal limit to drive and had also taken cocaine and ecstasy in the form of MDMA after a night out with two team-mates.
Tests on hair samples indicated Mr Maynard may have been a daily user of drugs in the three and half months before his death, the inquest heard.
Mr Maynard, who came through the ranks at Glamorgan, earned himself a place on the England Lions tour to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the start of last year.
The Cardiff-born cricketer was the son of former England and Glamorgan batsman Matthew Maynard.
In a statement issued through the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Mr Maynard’s family said: “The results of the inquest do not define our son. The fact that so very many people thought the world of him is what defines him as a person.
“The only people who would judge Tom on the findings of the inquest are people who didn’t know him. He made choices that night that tragically cost him his life, but his devastated family and friends will love and miss him unconditionally, always.
“He was a very special person and his death leaves a huge hole in all our lives.”
Mr Maynard’s girlfriend Carly Baker wept throughout yesterday’s hearing as she listened to the evidence.
She told the court Mr Maynard had called her at about 3.30am on June 18 after he had been out drinking with friends. She said she urged Mr Maynard not to drive to her home as she suspected he had been drinking.
In a statement, tube driver Martin Hopping said he believed he was approaching “bags of white ballast” before realising a body was lying on the tracks.
He applied the brakes and sounded the train’s horn but struck the body at about 5am.
England fast bowler Jade Dernbach and former Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown gave evidence at the hearing after they were among the last few people to see Mr Maynard alive. Both players told the court they were unaware Mr Maynard had ever taken drugs, which would result in a two-year ban from the sport.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox described Mr Maynard’s death as absolutely tragic and called for analysis of hair samples to be considered for future drugs testing by sports clubs to help identify drug users.