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Saturday, 6 May, 2000, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Rail safety review after death
Llanbrynmair crossing
Police examine the crossing where the tourist was killed
Railtrack has decided to carry out a major review of the safety of level crossings in mid-Wales following the death of an American tourist last year.

An inquest into the death of Kathleen Yettman in October 1999 returned a verdict of accidental death after the hire car in which she was travelling was struck by a train on an unmanned level crossing.

Following the accident at Llanbrynmair near Machynlleth, local residents said they had complained regularly about the warning lights and gates on the crossing were often left open.

A Railtrack spokeswoman said procedures to prevent similar incidents were being looked at following criticism of warning systems for motorists approaching crossings.


Geraint Jones, driver
Driver Geraint Jones said he sounded his horn
The inquest into Mrs Yettman's death heard that the American couple's car was catapulted 50 yards along the track by the impact of the 60mph-collision with the Lincoln to Aberystwyth passenger train.

Mrs Yettman, 44, a front seat passenger, died and her husband, who was driving, was seriously injured.

He later told British transport police he had not seen the warning lights or signs and that the crossing gates were open.

In a statement, Mr Yettman said a house alongside the track prevented him from seeing to the right and after checking left he crept across.

Blackspot

He said the train suddenly appeared from the right colliding with the car and throwing it into the air.

Train driver Geraint Jones said he sounded a two-tone horn 200 yards from the crossing which was clear, but then he saw a blur and there was an enormous bang which threw him from his seat.

Crossing supervisor Alun Lloyd told the inquest that the Llanbrynmair crossing was a blackspot where gates were left open more often than they were closed.

He said the warning lights were working and on red at the time of the crash. But one of the first police officers on the scene reported the light was green when he arrived 30 minutes after the collision.

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