Mick White, from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, said working as a train driver for 30 years left him with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A train driver of 30 years left haunted by three fatalities and more than 20 near-misses, has revealed the lasting impact the tragedies have had on his life.
Mick White, from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, said working as a train driver left him with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Speaking for the first time about the trauma, Mr White said he felt the bodies of all three jumpers underneath his feet as they were crushed by the train.
As he was leaving Blacktown station, Mr White said he watched as a man jumped out from underneath the bridge and onto the train tracks ahead.
‘He just smiled at me and made eye contact and then I hit him,’ he told SBS’ Insight program.
Mr White said he still remembered every detail of the man’s face. I felt like I had done something wrong… you feel like a criminal,’ he said.
The New South Wales man said it was impossible to stop a train suddenly.
With a full load of passengers and travelling about 80km/h, Mr White said a train needed at least 500 metres before it could come to a complete stop.
Driving a train into Toongabbie station in Sydney’s west, Mr White said he saw a man lying on the tracks a mere 50 metres in front of him
A few years after the tragedy at Blacktown, Mr White experienced his second horror.
Driving a train into Toongabbie station in Sydney’s west, Mr White said he saw a man lying on the tracks a mere 50 metres in front of him.
Despite immediately applying the emergency brakes, Mr White said the man stood little chance.
‘I hit him … I felt everything and felt his body go up underneath my feet and thumping along as the train went over him. You could hear everything, and then the train came to a standstill,’ he said.
Mr White said he felt overwhelming anger before sadness swept over him, for the man and his family.
The now retired train driver said the third incident affected him the most profoundly.
‘I hit him … I felt everything and felt his body go up underneath my feet and thumping along as the train went over him. You could hear everything, and then the train came to a standstill,’ he said
Another man took his life in front of Mr White’s train in Penrith, western Sydney in 2007.
He said that third fatality changed his life and triggered his PTSD.
After each suicide, Mr White said he was breath tested and questioned by the police, as a formality.
Mr White said it never got any easier, and each time left him feeling like a criminal.
Mick White will tell his story on SBS’ Insight program.
Mick White’s story came after a severely autistic boy was hit by a train when he ran away from his carer late on Sunday night.
Alex Raichman was at a carer’s facility on Oatley Avenue in south Sydney at 7.15pm when he went missing, sparking a large scale police search.
The 11-year-old, whose parents had reportedly left him in care while away on holiday, was found dead at Oatley train station close to two hours later.
Alex, who was non-verbal, is believed to have run onto train lines about 9.30pm.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
Mick White’s story comes two days after severely autistic boy Alex Raichman (right) was hit by a train after he ran away from his carer late on Sunday night