Film tells how Hampshire girl, 17, is 'lucky to be here' after railway trespass electrocution

A NEW film illustrates the potentially devastating impact of trespassing on the railway using the story of a 17-year-old girl from Hampshire.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 12:02 pm
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 12:45 pm

Tegan Stapleton was 16 when she fell on the electrical conductor rail as she tried to run across the tracks to get to a friend in Bournemouth.

The rail, known as the third rail, powers trains across much of the south of England and caused electricity to pass through her left arm, across her heart and through her right arm.

She suffered a cardiac arrest, third-degree burns over 10 per cent of her body and her heart stopped beating for seven minutes.

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Tegan Stapleton, whose mum said she is 'lucky to still be here' after trespassing on the railway last year. Picture: Network Rail

Had it not been for South Western Railway station staff who pulled Tegan away from the tracks and resuscitated her on the platform, her mum, Sasha Mullings, knows things could have been different.

‘She’s definitely lucky to still be here,’ she said. ‘That day will never leave my mind.

‘She was in an induced coma and was in and out of surgery – we didn’t know what kind of lifelong injuries she would have.

‘She had to learn how to walk again, how to eat, she couldn’t really talk and she had to learn how to do everything with her left hand.

Tegan Stapleton's mum, Sasha Mullings. Picture: Network Rail

‘It doesn’t just impact you. One small thought could save the pain that you can put yourself and your family through.’

Tegan spent five months in hospital recovering and will undergo further surgery for her injuries.

She said: ‘Being in intensive care was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.

‘I’d just always think that nobody was going to love me the way they did before and that I’d never be like the old me again.

‘I want to get the message out there that the dangers on the railway aren't always obvious, like the conductor rail and trip hazards. I want people to learn from my mistake.’

The video telling her story comes after the British Transport Police named Fratton and Cosham stations ‘hotspots’ on National Rail's list of problem areas.

There were at least six instances of trespassing at Cosham in the past 14 months, with a further 18 at Fratton station.