Driver at the centre of rail inquiry

THIS is the lorry driver who escaped injury when his vehicle was involved in this week's crash with a train at Blaxhall.Mike Read had been heading away from Blaxhall Hall with a load of crop insulation fleece when his lorry was in collision with a train travelling from Lowestoft to Ipswich at about 10.

THIS is the lorry driver who escaped injury when his vehicle was involved in this week's crash with a train at Blaxhall.

Mike Read had been heading away from Blaxhall Hall with a load of crop insulation fleece when his lorry was in collision with a train travelling from Lowestoft to Ipswich at about 10.10am on Monday.

The trailer of his vehicle was left a crumpled mess by the impact and the rolls of fleece left strewn across the area round the level crossing where the crash occurred.

One set of the train's wheels left the track but the carriage remained upright and as a result injuries among the 56 passengers on board were kept to a minimum.

Eight passengers were taken to Ipswich Hospital following the accident and another three, including the train's driver and conductor, were taken to James Paget Hospital at Gorleston. None of the injuries were life threatening.

Mr Read who has worked for farmer and former Ipswich Town Football Club chairman John Kerr for more than 20 years, was lucky to walk away unscathed. However, he was left very shaken as a result of the crash that left the Lowestoft to Ipswich line closed until yesterday morning.

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A day after the crash he was at home recovering and Mr Kerr had said: "I spoke to him last night and he was still very shocked."

Reports that Mr Read has since returned to work for Kerr Farms remained unconfirmed this morning. No one at the Letheringham-based farm was available to comment.

Meanwhile, investigations are continuing into what caused Monday's crash.

Railtrack, the Health and Safety Excecutive and British Transport Police have been examining all possibilities, including a systems failure at the level crossing, where there are red flashing warning lights and a klaxon or sun obscuring Mr Read's ability to see the lights.

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