‘He was a bit shaken’: Freight train hits aban­doned ute

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH HEN­SON MITCH MOTT

A TRAIN driver has es­caped in­jury af­ter his freight lo­co­mo­tive smashed into a ute aban­doned on tracks near Mal­lala, north of Ade­laide.

It ap­pears the ve­hi­cle skid­ded off the road, ca­reered over a steep em­bank­ment and be­came stuck on the rail­way line, about 20m north of a level cross­ing near the junc­tion of Calomba and Broster roads.

The Perth-Mel­bourne train slammed into the ute at 10.25pm on Fri­day be­fore co­mAs ing to a halt about 200m along the track, smash­ing through a cross­ing sign.

Res­i­dents Vic­tor and Judy Ray­ment, who live nearby, said they feared the worst when they heard the crash.

“I just heard the train blar­ing its horn, which they usu­ally do when there’s a car wait­ing at the cross­ing just as a warn­ing but this was like ex­tra long and then dur­ing that horn blar­ing we just heard a thud,” Mr Ray­ment said.

“We both looked at each other and thought ‘That didn’t sound nor­mal’.”

Mr Ray­ment went to grab a torch, Mrs Ray­ment walked to­wards the scene.

“I heard a car door shut and it did a bit of a burnout and drove off down the road,” Mrs Ray­ment said.

“I thought ‘Hell, what am I go­ing to be look­ing at ... but there wasn’t any­body.

“The pas­sen­ger side was caved in be­cause that’s the side of im­pact.”

The cou­ple then checked on the train driver.

“He was a lit­tle bit shaken at first,” Mr Ray­ment said. “He just said there was no­body in the ve­hi­cle (and) it looked like it had been dumped there.

“I would imag­ine he would have been think­ing he’s go­ing to kill someone.”

Mr Ray­ment de­scribed the ac­tions of the ute driver as “bloody stupid”.

He said the area was usu­ally quiet al­though two cars were drag rac­ing over the track and along Broster Rd on Thurs­day night. The ute was towed from the scene and the train con­tin­ued on its jour­ney about two hours af­ter the crash.

Po­lice are con­tin­u­ing in­quiries into the in­ci­dent.

LUCKY ES­CAPE: The scene of Fri­day night’s rail­way col­li­sion.

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