A man whose ute and a train collided at a notorious railway
crossing near Rakaia yesterday was "extremely lucky", police
Police and firefighters were called to a crash between the
westbound ute and a northbound train at an uncontrolled
railway crossing on Hatfield-Overdale Road about 3pm.
The man in his 20s alerted emergency services to the
incident, and was taken to Ashburton Hospital with moderate
The level crossing, which is controlled by giveway signs, has
been the scene of three fatal crashes in the past 20 years.
"He is extremely lucky in this instance. He's driven into the
side of the train. How many other people have you heard
bounce back from something like that?" Senior Sergeant Grant
He would not rule out charges and said inquiries were
Rakaia Volunteer Firefighter Brigade firefighter Tyrone
Burrowes said firefighters arrived to remove the ute door
before the man got out of the vehicle with little help.
Mr Burrowes said firefighters worked to contain farming
chemicals on the deck of the ute before it was taken away.
"It was a solid impact. The front of the ute was severely
damaged from the train but the cabin stayed intact, the air
bags went off too.
"Have you heard the history at that crossing? it just goes to
show you need to slow down at these crossings and look both
ways," he said.
- By Myles Hume of the Ashburton Guardian