Train forced to ap­ply emer­gency brakes

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - INTIMATIONS -

Bert Hous­ton

A 21-year-old van driver claimed he was blinded by the sun as he failed to see the warn­ing lights at a level cross­ing.

James O’Brien’s ve­hi­cle struck the fall­ing safety bar­rier, caus­ing it to break off.

And the driver of the ap­proach­ing train, who wit­nessed the col­li­sion, was forced to ap­ply his emer­gency brak­ing sys­tem.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened at the Brass­well cross­ing on the out­skirts of Dum­fries in Jan­uary.

The train man­aged to avoid any de­bris, but the line had to be closed for a pe­riod un­til it was checked out.

At Dum­fries Sher­iff Court van driver O’Brien pleaded guilty to a charge of driv­ing care­lessly at the cross­ing and fail­ing to com­ply with the au­dio and vis­ual warn­ing sig­nals of a train ap­proach­ing.

Fis­cal de­pute Ali­son Her­ald said the large white van had been seen pass­ing the win­dow of a house near the cross­ing at 9am and the au­dio alarm went off and then a bang was heard … and an­other.

Mean­while, the driver of a train, which was just 400 yards away, saw the van ap­proach the cross­ing and then hit the bar­rier.

Solic­i­tor Car­olyn Pri­est­ley said O’Brien, of Shake­speare Street, Dum­fries, used the cross­ing reg­u­larly and on this par­tic­u­lar morn­ing was driv­ing into the sun and didn’t see the red light.

He could not ex­plain how he did not hear the au­dio alarm.

She added that the van was well clear be­fore the train reached the cross­ing

He had later tele­phoned the po­lice him­self and reported the in­ci­dent.

O’Brien was fined £300 and had six points en­dorsed on his li­cence.

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