Man killed in level crossing crash

A man has died and another person is in hospital after a car was hit by a freight train on a rural level crossing.

The dead man is believed to have been the passenger in a blue Renault Kangoo which was hit on the crossing in Sandy Lane, between Kidlington and the village of Yarnton in Oxfordshire, said British Transport Police.

The car driver was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, just six miles away from the crash, with what ambulance staff said were minor injuries. The driver of the freight train, en route from Trafford Park in Greater Manchester to Southampton, was shaken but uninjured, said BTP.

A police spokesman said: "The driver pulled the emergency brake but was unable to stop in time. Officers are working to establish the full circumstances including how the car came to be on the tracks at the time."

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed, he added.

The crash happened on a rural crossing in a quiet country lane which was reportedly due to be visited by a new speed camera van designed to catch people who attempt to beat barriers before they come down.

The Oxford Mail newspaper reported last month that British Transport Police were rolling out the purpose-built van to crossings in the county where drivers are known to gamble on beating the warning signals and barriers to get across before the train arrives. It would then collect video evidence for prosecutions. The paper reported that Sandy Lane was one of those due to be visited.

Train passengers on Cross Country and First Great Western services were being warned that they face delays of up to an hour because of the crash north of Oxford, according to the National Rail Enquiries website. Trains to destinations including Oxford, Banbury, Basingstoke, Reading, Leamington Spa, Coventry and Birmingham New Street are affected.

Buses were replacing trains between Oxford and Banbury. First Great Western said it was expecting disruption to continue into the early hours of Thursday morning.

South Central Ambulance Service confirmed it had taken one person to hospital and treated two others at the scene.

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