A LORRY driver came within moments of a potentially devastating crash when he drove through level crossing barriers as a train was approaching, police say.
Today, police urged the public to help them find the driver and said had the barrier not stopped the lorry, the consequences could have been devastating.
PC Nick Storey from British Transport Police said: “The fact that the vehicle became stuck very likely prevented the driver from driving over the crossing while the train was approaching and, as a result, more serious consequences were avoided.
“However, the actions of the driver showed a complete disregard for the safety of both himself and those on the train.”
The incident happened just before 10am on Monday 4 August, as a Liverpool to Scarborough train was approaching.
PC Storey said: “The barriers were closing as a heavy goods vehicle approached, coming down onto the truck’s trailer, trapping it a matter of metres from the crossing and the passing train.
“The train passed through the crossing unscathed and fortunately did not make contact with the vehicle, a blue Scania heavy-haulage truck.
“No damage was caused to the truck or the crossing and luckily no one was injured. Network Rail staff attended the incident, and it is believed the vehicle drove off in the direction of the nearby Nestle factory.”
Vicki Beadle, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: “Using a level crossing in this way is not only against the law, but puts the driver’s life in danger.
“When the sirens and lights sound at a crossing, you should not attempt to drive or walk across it. I understand it can be frustrating waiting for trains to pass at level crossings, but please be patient, wait for the trains to pass and for the crossing to open and clear. Trying to rush across could possibly mean more delays for everyone.
“It is never worth the risk. Even if you manage to cross without getting hurt, misusing level crossings can cause delays to train services and other people.”
Anyone with information is asked to phone British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016, quoting incident reference "PSUB/B3" of August 11. Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.