A 77-YEAR-OLD man has died after his car was hit by a train in North Yorkshire this morning.
The incident was reported to British Transport Police and North Yorkshire Police at about 9.15am today on the line at the Ivy Lea rail crossing at Scampston, near Malton.
A British Transport Police spokesman said its officers were at the scene along with “colleagues from North Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service”.
He said: “Sadly the driver of the car, who is believed to be a 77-year-old local man, has died.
“The train involved was the 8.48am Scarborough to Liverpool Lime Street TransPennine Express Service. There have been no reported injuries to passengers on the service though the driver of the service is being treated for shock
“Officers are currently working to safely remove passengers from the train and transport them to the nearest station to continue their journeys.”
City of York council archeologist John Oxley, who was on the train at the time, tweeted this morning that it appeared “part of [the] car is impaled on front of train front carriage now being evacuated and cleared”.
He said 30 people got off the train and stood in a nearby field after the accident, though power was later restored to most of the carriages.
He added: “TransPennine Express train staff and emergency services have been brilliant, calm informative reassuring, very impressive response.”
The BTP spokesman said delays were expected as a result and that passengers should check with National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk.”
TransPennine Express said all trains in the local area would start and finish at York until further notice as a result of the collision.
Network Rail said all trains to and from Manchester and Liverpool were terminating at York and the only route out of Scarborough was via Hull.
The subject of safety at rail crossings has been to the fore recently, with the issue being investigated, and reported on, by the House of Commons Transport Committee.
The 77-year-old male who died is believed to be a local farmer.
Chief Insp Derek O’Mara of British Transport Police said: “Police got a call to report that a vehicle had been struck by a train at Ivy Lea crossing near Malton, sadly causing a fatality to an elderly male.
“The point where the road crosses the track is a farm crossing that has phones on either side. People have to ring up a signal box to seek authority to go across the crossing to make sure it’s safe.
“It’s too early in the investigation to know whether that has been done or not, so that is one of the leads that we’ll be looking at in our investigation with the coroner.”
He added: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family. The family have not been told at this stage because we are still in the process of identifying the male.”
No other passengers were injured and all were taken by train to continue their journeys. The driver of the train is being treated for shock.
Anthony Armstrong, 33, a passenger travelling from Scarborough to York, said: “We knew that something bad had happened. I had been on the train for about 20 minutes and we heard a bump.
“People are a bit shaken up but nobody is hurt.”
Another passenger, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a full train and we didn’t really know what happened. The police have tried to keep us all there but I’ve walked off. I couldn’t stay.
“I saw the car door hanging off the front carriage but that’s all.”
Dog walker Annie Wilson told BBC Radio York: “There was a gentleman in a car waiting to turn into Ivy Lea, and I stopped to let him go through the crossing - I assume that’s where he was going because it’s quite a narrow track there, and carried on across the field.
“I must have been about 400 metres away and I heard a loud bang, and then heard all the horns of the train so I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened.”
A BTP spokeswoman said the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) have been informed.