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'Drink-driver' makes lucky escape after car is crushed by train at level crossing

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK

A man arrested for drink-driving made a ‘miraculous’ escape from his car as it was hit by a train on a level crossing.

The driver of the car – a 29-year-old man – escaped from the vehicle before the collision occurred at the Waterloo Road crossing in Wokingham, Berkshire, shortly before midnight on Thursday.

Witnesses said the car was hit with such force, it was pushed over the railway line to the opposite level crossing barrier in Easthampstead Road.

The driver escaped from the vehicle before the collision occurred at a level crossing in Wokingham, Berkshire (PA)

An image from the scene shows the car crushed beneath a South Western Railway train.

But despite his lucky escape, the man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and endangering safety on the railway. He remains in custody as inquiries continue.

Network Rail is warning passengers they may experience delays on services on London to Reading services until least 2pm on Friday.

The British Transport Police (BTP) said “miraculously no-one was injured” when the incident happened.

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A BTP spokesperson said: "Officers were called just before midnight on Thursday 19 December 2019, to reports of a car being struck by a train at  Waterloo Level Crossing, Wokingham.

"Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries. Passengers were taken to destinations by coach. The driver of the car has been arrested for suspected drink drinking and endangering safety on the railway.

"Due to ongoing engineering works, no trains are currently running through Wokingham and Waterloo Road and Star Lane Level Crossings are closed to traffic at this time. Travellers are advised to find alternative routes."

Country road with a railroad level crossing with the gates raised.

The near-fatal accident follows another close call earlier in November, when a car driving over a level crossing with raised barriers narrowly avoided being hit by a train.

Accident investigators launched an inquiry into why traffic had been cleared to drive over the crossing in Norfolk - despite a train approaching at 45mph on Sunday November 24.

Jamie Burles, managing director of train operator Greater Anglia said the “safe operation” of train services was the company’s “absolute top priority.”