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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 13:54 GMT
Train crash firm sued over belts
Emily Webster
Emily Webster was thrown from her seat as the carriage span
The father of a Devon girl who died in the Berkshire rail crash is to sue First Great Western for not fitting high-speed trains with seatbelts.

Peter Webster was travelling with his 14-year-old daughter, Emily, when the train crashed at a level crossing.

Mr Webster, from Doccombe near Moretonhampstead, said a seatbelt would have saved her life and has been campaigning for them since the crash.

First Great Western says the issue of seatbelts is being considered.

'Open dialogue'

Mr Webster is also suing Network Rail over the safety of unmanned level crossings.

Jonathan Green, head of the medical law team at Foot Anstey Sargent, said: "The family believes that the simple availability of lap belts or seatbelts, particularly in the light of a lot of research, would have reduced injury and loss of life."

First Great Western says the issue of seatbelts is being considered, but few other countries use them and experience suggests they cause more injuries than they prevent.

A spokesman said: "Since the accident we have had an open dialogue with Mr Webster.

"We are committed to looking at the issue of seatbelts."

Seven people died when the 1735 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service hit a car on a level crossing near Ufton Nervet on 6 November.




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