A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl has died after she was crushed when the car she was travelling in was hit by a train on a level crossing.
Emma Lifsey, four, was airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital but died in the early hours.
A woman, 67, who was in the car suffered neck injuries. No-one on the Lincoln to Doncaster train was injured.
In a statement, Emma’s parents, Mark and Zoe Lifsey, from Haxey in North Lincolnshire, said: “Emma meant the world to us. She was our much-loved daughter and a baby sister to her 11-year-old brother Jack.
“We are still trying to come to terms with the terrible incident on Tuesday afternoon and there are no words that can properly express how utterly distraught we are.
“We would like to thank everyone for the many messages of sympathy and support we have received.
British Transport Police said they were investigating how the car came to be on the tracks
“As you can appreciate, this tragic incident has left us shocked and devastated and we would ask that we can be left to grieve in private at this acutely difficult and sad time for us.”
A spokesman said: “The police investigation into the incident is ongoing and remains very much in the early stages.
“Officers are working hard to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident, including how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at the time.
“This will include speaking to any witnesses to the incident, while specialist officers will also look at evidence from the scene and the car in question, a black Volvo which has now been recovered.”
The vehicle was on an unmanned automatic crossing at Misson Springs, near Finningley, Doncaster, yesterday when the single carriage commuter train ploughed into it.
Emergency services were called to the isolated crossing, on the border between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, after the accident at 12.35pm. One of the barriers was smashed off and the warning lights remained lit.
The train, a Lincoln to Doncaster service, remained upright on the tracks after the impact and the 20 passengers on board were led to safety. None of them were injured.
Police sealed off the area and the train was later shunted a quarter of a mile down the track where it was left for specialist engineers to examine while a full investigation is carried out.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Officers are working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident, including how the vehicle came to be on the tracks.
“This will include establishing whether there were any witnesses to the incident, while specialist officers will also examine the scene and the car in question.
“The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and Office of Rail Regulation have been notified.”
A spokesman for East Midlands Trains, which runs the passenger service between Doncaster and Lincoln, said the train involved was the 11.54am service from Lincoln to Doncaster and added a bus service would be provided while investigations continue.
It was not clear last night when the line will reopen.
A spokesman for the Office of Rail Regulation said: “Our thoughts are with those injured.
“ORR is attending Beech Hill crossing, and is working with the British Transport Police, Network Rail and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the causes of this incident.”
The union which represents train drivers, the RMT, last night said level crossings should be removed from Britain’s railway network as soon as possible to eliminate the risk of such crashes happening.
Its general secretary Bob Crow said: “This is another tragic incident on Britain’s railways that shines a spotlight yet again on the ever-present danger of mixing roads with rail track.
“The RMT will await the outcome of investigations and our thoughts are with all of those involved.
“Our campaign to speed up the phasing out of level crossings will continue and the investment required to deliver that objective must be made available by the Government.”