A TOP-CLASS cricketer was struck by a train as he attempted to flee police after taking a cocktail of drink and drugs, an inquest heard yesterday. 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 18 June 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.
He had been stopped by police less than an hour before his death when his black Mercedes was seen driving erratically, but the sportsman fled the vehicle.
A post-mortem examination showed he was nearly four times over the legal limit for alcohol and had also taken cocaine and Ecstasy after a night out with two team-mates.
Tests on hair samples indicted Mr Maynard may have been a daily user of drugs in the three-and-a-half months before his death, the inquest heard.
Forensic pathologist Dr Simon Poole told the inquest jury that Mr Maynard suffered burns to his feet, ankles and shin which were consistent with injuries suffered by touching live railway tracks.
It was not possible to say, however, whether Mr Maynard died from electrocution or the impact with the train.A cause of death was given as multiple injuries.
Post-mortem tests indicated high levels of alcohol in Mr Maynard’s urine, as well as the presence of MDMA (Ecstasy), cocaine and the compound cocaethylene.
In a statement, Dr Rosa Cordero said analysis of hair samples showed positive results for the presence of MDMA and cocaine levels which matched those of daily users.
Mr Maynard, who came through the ranks at Glamorgan, won 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.
Mr Maynard’s family said his death had left a “huge hole in all our lives”.
In a statement issued through the Professional Cricketers’ Association, they 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.”
Mr Maynard’s girlfriend Carly Baker wept throughout yesterday’s hearing. She told the court Mr Maynard called her at about 3:30am on 18 June after he had been out drinking with friends.
“He sounded very down and depressed on the phone,” she said. “For me to say, ‘What’s wrong?’ is quite unusual. It was like he needed me. He said, ‘You’re the only thing that makes me happy’, and he said it three times.”
Miss Baker said she urged Mr Maynard not to drive to her home, as she suspected he had been drinking.
In a statement, she added: “I tried to persuade him not to come because I was so worried that he was getting into his car after drinking.”
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.