The precise cause of death of a police sergeant who died in hospital five days after being hit by a train as he attempted to save a distressed man on the tracks has not yet been ascertained, a coroner has said.
Nottinghamshire Assistant Coroner Elizabeth Didcock opened and adjourned an inquest into the death of 46-year-old Graham Saville on Wednesday at Nottingham Coroner’s Court.
The response officer based at Newark police station, who was attempting to save a distressed man, suffered serious injuries on the railway in Balderton, near Newark, on August 24.
During a hearing which lasted less than two minutes, Dr Didcock said the officer had died at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre on August 29.
The coroner told the hearing, which was not attended by any family members: “I am today opening the inquest touching the death of Graham Saville.
“A post-mortem examination has been carried out. The precise cause of death is yet to be ascertained.
“This hearing now stands adjourned for the completion of further inquiries. I extend my sincere condolences to all of Mr Saville’s family.”
During the hearing, it also emerged that Sergeant Saville’s body was formally identified under hospital protocols by a consultant who “saw the patient both in life and death”.
Nottinghamshire Police made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after the distressed man sustained severe electrical burns in the incident.
The watchdog said it would independently investigate the circumstances surrounding how the man, aged 29, came by his injuries.
British Transport Police is looking into the broader circumstances of the incident but there is no criminal inquiry connected to the death.
Police said Sergeant Saville’s death has devastated the father-of-two’s loved ones but they have “taken great comfort from the outpouring of love and admiration for him”.
In a statement issued on August 31, Sergeant Saville’s widow paid tribute to her “wonderful” husband.
She said: “He loved his job and joined the police to do something worthwhile and to make a difference.
“Ultimately his desire to help others has led to him making the ultimate sacrifice. We are devastated. The outpouring of love from all those who knew him is testament to the amazing person he was.
“We are so lucky to have loved him.”
A JustGiving fundraiser for Sergeant Saville’s family has reached almost £155,000 in donations.