For a moment I thought that the Herald had turned against Len Brown


But it wasn’t to be.

Darwin was actually calling and a trainspotter answered.

A man fatally struck by the steam train he was photographing did not realise how close it was to him because he was looking at it through his camera lens, a coroner has ruled.

On September 7, 2013, Gregory John Duncraft, a meatworker from Kaiata, was standing on the railway track near Kokiri when a Mainland Steam charter steam train struck him at 5.45pm, throwing him into the air.  

Mr Duncraft, 50, was still alive and taken to Grey Base Hospital with an open skull fracture and serious internal injuries. He died at 7.37pm.

Coroner David Crerar said Mr Duncraft had gone to see the train with friend Caroline Milne.

She stopped pressing the button on her camera when the engine was 30m away, and turned away.

Next, she heard someone calling for an ambulance.

The train crew, and a doctor and ambulance officer who had been on board the train, gave aid.

Lisa Hartigan, who was driving to Moana to meet the train with her children, expressed concern that Mr Duncraft was still on the track.

The train “gave a loud toot” but he was still standing there “with his face to the camera”.

When it was just 3m away he took the camera down from his face and tried to step away quickly, but the train clipped his legs.


– NZ Herald


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Tom

    Words fail me on this one. People who stand on train tracks and take pictures are up there with people who play with sharks. Don’t play with something that can kill you.

    • simblor

      Where’s the fun in that Tom?

  • Korau

    There is a nanny state opportunity here. Require all camera viewfinders to have words inscribed “objects may be nearer than they appear in the viewfinder”. Then the state can employ inspectors to ensure all imports comply, there is revenue to be collected for fines for non compliance. Perhaps a minister of cameras!

    Who will be the first politician to take up this serious cause? Who will think of the photographers?

  • Michael
  • cows4me

    Hope he didn’t dent the train.

  • taurangaruru

    Similar happened to me once – taking a photo of an elephant running towards me in the Kruger National Park, when I took the camera away from my face the Toyota Corolla I was in broke the land speed record for reversing.

  • Alright

    “Darwin was actually calling and a trainspotter answered.”

    ……great line.