Police officer hit by train while trying to save distressed man dies: ‘His sacrifice will never be forgotten’

Sergeant Graham Saville was left with serious injuries while trying to save a man on the railway in Balderton, Newark

Natalie Crockett,Eleanor Noyce
Tuesday 29 August 2023 21:50 BST
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<p>Police and railway workers near the scene in Balderton, near Newark-on-Trent (Danny Lawson/PA)</p>

Police and railway workers near the scene in Balderton, near Newark-on-Trent (Danny Lawson/PA)

A police officer who was hit by a train while trying to save a distressed man on railway tracks has died, Nottinghamshire Police said.

Sergeant Graham Saville, 46, was deployed to a residential area in Balderton, Newark, over concerns for a man’s safety just before 7pm on Thursday 24 August.

He suffered serious injuries after being struck by a train and died on Tuesday at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, with his family at his bedside.

Nottinghamshire Chief Constable Kate Meynell said today was a “day of mourning for the entire police family”, while Rishi Sunak said his death is a “terrible reminder” of the work police do every day to keep the public safe.

Chief Constable Meynell said: “Graham was a hugely respected and popular colleague and his death in the line of duty has come as an enormous shock to us all.

“Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to his family and we will do everything we can to support them through this unimaginably devastating time.

Have you been affected by this incident? Email eleanor.noyce@independent.co.uk

“It is impossible to put into words how devastating this news is for everyone who loved and respected Graham.

“On Thursday, he went to work to protect the people of Nottinghamshire from harm, and it is testament to his bravery and dedication as a police officer that he was fatally injured while attempting to save another man’s life.

“His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Chief Constable Meynell also paid tribute to officers who tried to save their colleague while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

She said: “This was a deeply traumatic incident for those officers and we have a dedicated team providing support to them.

“When a colleague dies in the line of duty the shockwaves and sadness reverberate throughout the policing family and we will all deeply mourn our colleague.”

The prime minister wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Sergeant Saville. It is a testament to his bravery that he died in the line of duty and a terrible reminder of the work the police do every day to keep us safe.”

Flags across the force will be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect. An investigation into the incident is being led by British Transport Police.

Head of the College of Policing, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, said Sergeant Saville’s death was “devastating news” and his thoughts and condolences were with the “brave officer’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time”.

“It is a tragic reminder of the risks and bravery shown every day by our police officers and staff to keep the public safe,” he added.

The man Sergeant Saville was trying to help was also injured and taken to hospital on Thursday but it is not thought his injuries were not life-threatening.

Immigration minister and Newark MP Robert Jenrick, whose constituency includes Balderton, paid tribute to the “exceptional bravery” of Sergeant Saville.

Writing on X, Mr Jenrick said: “Sergeant Graham Saville selflessly gave his life to save someone else. All of us in Newark salute his exceptional bravery and self-sacrifice, which won’t be forgotten.

“My thoughts are with his partner and children and all his colleagues at nottspolice.”

Need to talk to someone? The Samaritans run a free 24-hour phone line on 116 123 for people experiencing a range of problems, and also has a website with further details.

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