Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Driver escapes as train hits car

Level crossing
About 100 people were on the TransPennine Express train

A man had a lucky escape when his car was hit by a train at a level crossing in North Yorkshire.

British Transport Police (BTP) said it was thought the man's car skidded on snow at the crossing near Selby.

The man managed to get out of his Ford Mondeo before it was hit by the 0733 GMT Hull to Manchester train. He was seen by ambulance staff but was unhurt.

Heavy snowfall caused treacherous driving conditions and the closure of about 170 schools in North Yorkshire.

The BTP said they had received a call at 0818 GMT, saying a car had been struck by the Hull to Manchester Piccadilly First TransPennine Express train on an automatic half-barrier level crossing at Hagg Lane, South Duffield.

A spokeswoman said: "This was a very slow speed collision and there are no injuries reported.

"The train driver had seen the obstruction on the crossing and applied the emergency brake and the car driver had exited the vehicle before it was struck."

A Network Rail spokeswoman said train services in the area had been stopped while the car was removed from the crossing.

Snow in North Yorkshire
Driving conditions were said to be treacherous. Pic by Steve King

A First TransPennine Express spokesman said no-one on the train had been injured. About 100 passengers were on board.

Replacement bus services were operating between Selby and Hull.

Meanwhile, Selby District Council said it had suspended its recycling and refuse collections because of the snow.

In other parts of North Yorkshire, about 25 vehicles got stuck between Harrogate and Blubberhouses and hazardous driving conditions have been reported on the A64, A59 and the A1.

North Yorkshire Police advised drivers to avoid Staxton Hill on the B1249 which was closed in both directions.

Deborah Smitten from Knapton in North Yorkshire was a passenger on a bus which became stuck in snow near the village of Hunsingore.

Appointments cancelled

"The driver valiantly tried to get through the snow, but it was obvious the conditions were getting worse and worse," she said.

"Fortunately a farmer in his plough was there, and some villagers came out to dig us out. If it hadn't been for them I think we would have been there for at least a couple of hours. They were fabulous."

Yorkshire Ambulance Service cancelled journeys for patients due to attend routine appointments at hospital clinics.

A spokesman said it expected the service would also be cancelled on Wednesday because of the adverse weather conditions.

The service was still operating for patients with urgent medical needs, including renal and oncology treatments.



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SEE ALSO
North Yorkshire school closures
06 Jan 10 |  TV and Radio
England hit by heavy snow storms
05 Jan 10 |  England

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