Lucky escape as car strikes Metro at Howdon
Jun 29 2010 The Journal
POLICE are investigating after a driver had a lucky escape when his car struck a train on a level crossing.
Officers were called to Howdon Metro Station in North Tyneside after reports that a vehicle had collided with a train.
The incident happened just after 9pm on Sunday in so-far unexplained circumstances.
Incredibly, the male motorist walked away unharmed from his mangled Volkswagen Passat.
One female passenger on the train suffered minor injuries and was taken to North Tyneside Hospital as a precaution.
Police and Metro operator Nexus are investigating the cause of the collision. And Nexus last night issued a safety plea for drivers using crossings on the Metro network.
A spokesman said: “All the Metro crossings in North Tyneside are ungated but they have red warning lights.
“These lights should always be obeyed to ensure the safety of motorists and train passengers.”
A police spokesman said inquiries had not yet established how the driver came to be on the tracks at the crossing. He said: “At 9.04pm last night police attended reports of a car having struck a Metro train on a crossing near Howdon station.
“The driver of the vehicle was uninjured. One female passenger on the train suffered minor injuries.
“Inquiries are continuing by our roads policing unit into exactly what happened.”
Metro services were suspended for 45 minutes between Wallsend and North Shields while emergency services dealt with the incident.
The line was busier that usual as football supporters made their way home after England’s World Cup defeat to Germany earlier in the day.
The Three Lions were beaten 4-1 in the round of 16 in South Africa.
The Nexus spokesman added: “Trains were back in service once the line was cleared and it was confirmed there was no damage to the track.”
There have been regular calls for barriers to be installed at all Metro crossings after an 18-year-old woman died when her car hit a train at Kingston Park, Newcastle, in 1990.
But Nexus says all crossings have clear signs, lights and alarms to warn motorists that a train is approaching.