MYSTERY surrounds how a 38-year-old man found unconscious beside a disused railway line suffered the serious head injuries that have left him fighting for his life in hospital.

The victim was airlifted to hospital on Saturday afternoon by the North West Air Ambulance after being discovered by a passer-by close to the line that runs nearby the Matalan and Iceland stores, off Warrington New Road, St Helens.

He was taken to Fazakerly Hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery and was placed in intensive care.

The condition of the man, who has been identified by police and is from St Helens, was described this week as critical but stable.

Officers from British Transport Police are trying to establish how the man suffered the injuries. A police spokesman said: "It is possible it was an assault, it is possible it is the result of a fall. At this stage, we don't know."

Detectives have been trawling through CCTV footage to trace the victim's final moments before he was injured. They are also trying to determine how long he lay stricken on the ground, whether he was with someone prior to incident, or if he had been chased.

Police have traced the man's family, but have not released his name to the Star.

  • Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0800 405040.