TWO men who died after their car was hit by a train on a level crossing near Grimsby appear to have been victims of a “tragic accident”, police said.
A man aged 47 from Grimsby, believed to be the driver, died when the 7.26pm Trans Pennine Express service hit a car at the Great Coates automatic half-barrier level crossing just before 7.39pm on Tuesday.
His passenger, a 40-year-old man from Cleethorpes, died while he was being taken to hospital.
Nobody on the train, which was carrying five passengers, a driver and a conductor, was hurt.
Det Insp Mick Jackson, of British Transport Police, said: “Our thoughts are very much with the men’s families at this very difficult time.
“We’re keeping an open mind but indications so far are that the crossing was working correctly and this appears to have been a tragic accident.
“However, we’d like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident.”
The crash happened hours before Network Rail was yesterday fined £450,000 for health and safety breaches over the “entirely preventable” death of a woman who was killed at a level crossing in Herefordshire in 2010.
Network Rail, which was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to install an automatic barrier locking system, was also ordered to pay £33,000 in prosecution costs.
A judge at Birmingham Crown Court also fined signalman Adrian Maund, 43, of Caswell Crescent, Leominster, £1,750 for his part in the death of Jane Harding.
Mrs Harding, 52, died when the car she was a passenger in was hit by a train in the village of Moreton-on-Lugg in January 2010. Her husband Mark, who was driving, suffered serious injuries in the collision, which happened seconds after Maund raised the crossing’s barriers in the mistaken belief that the train had already passed.
The trial heard Network Rail had opted not to fit a safety system at the crossing which would have prevented the barriers being lifted when a train was approaching.