Mother devastated at son's loss

MOURNED: Murray Miller with his sister. Maree Miller.
MOURNED: Murray Miller with his sister. Maree Miller.

A man killed by a train had been speaking about how his life was "finally coming together" just moments before he was hit, his mother says.

Murray Bruce Miller, 26, was killed when he was struck by a train while crossing the railway line in Lincoln Rd about 10pm on Monday.

Miller's mother, Cindy Herrett, said her son had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and she believed that was why he had run out in front of the train.

"He had been at his girlfriend's house, which was just around the corner, having a few drinks, but he wasn't drunk. He was walking home with this guy he had just met the day before," she said.

"Murray was telling him how much he loved his girlfriend and how happy he was his whole life was finally coming together.

''Then he saw the train coming and jokingly ran out in front of it. He was lanky and was always doing silly things like that because of his ADHD."

Just before he was hit by the train he looked back at his companion, Herrett said.

"He told me that Murray saw the train was too close and realised he wasn't going to make it and looked back at him. The poor boy is very upset."

Despite the accident, she did not believe the Lincoln Rd intersection was unsafe.

"I grew up in that area and have crossed that intersection a million times. You can't blame the bars or the intersection. Murray just made a really bad judgment call," she said.

Miller's girlfriend of nearly two years, Cherie Dodge, was "devastated" by the loss, Herrett said.

"They'd been through a lot of issues together but they were in a good place. They were very in love."

She has last seen her son a couple of weeks before the accident.

"I got some lovely texts from him since then saying he was really happy. We planned on catching up, but we never got to do that."

Miller's sister, Maree, was due to bring her baby daughter, Ava, to Christchurch from Australia to meet Miller in a few weeks.

"He was going to meet his niece for the first time. That's something else that will never happen now. We are all in shock and terribly upset this has happened," Herrett said.

Miller had lived on the streets "on and off" since he was 14.

"He'd had a tough time over the years, but he was in a really good place," she said.

"He was pretty out there and weird. Everyone knew who he was. He helped out a lot of the other kids on the street. He always went for the underdog."

Miller also had Marfan syndrome - a genetic disorder that can shorten life expectancy.

"We knew he wasn't going to live a long life because of that, but we thought he had a bit longer left. His grandmother died at 45 from Marfan," Herrett said.

"It was too soon for him."

Miller had been due to appear in court in Christchurch on previous charges today, with his lawyer unaware his client had died.

Miller's case was called before Judge Russell Callander this morning and defence counsel Gilbert Hay told the judge that his client was not present.

The police prosecutor then stood and asked that charges of intent to injure and unlawfully being in a yard be withdrawn because the defendant was deceased.

This was granted by the judge.

The Press