Hero train crew tell of drama
RELUCTANT heroes Nigel Fisher and Robert Williams spoke to the Evening Star today about the rail crash that left eight people injured.The pair were hailed as heroes after the packed Anglia Railways 9.
By Victoria Knowles
RELUCTANT heroes Nigel Fisher and Robert Williams spoke to the Evening Star today about the rail crash that left eight people injured.
The pair were hailed as heroes after the packed Anglia Railways 9.05am train, from Lowestoft to Ipswich, collided with a lorry on the crossing at Little Glemham, near Saxmundham.
Mr Fisher was the train driver on the journey while Mr Williams, the conductor, was in the middle of the train collecting money.
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Passengers praised their quick thinking and calmness in the face of such chaos even though Mr Williams had suffered a painful injury himself.
"I was in the middle of the train when it all happened. I felt the impact and it was like being in an explosion. I flew threw the air and landed on my arm. There were people screaming because at that point we did not know what was going on and how bad everything was," said 44-year-old Mr Williams.
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Mr Fisher, of Reynolds Road, Ipswich, was also praised for his quick thinking when out of the blue he saw the lorry and knew instinctively that it was not going to stop.
Luckily no one was seriously injured in the accident.
"It was a normal day and the route we always took. It all happened extremely quickly when we approached the crossing. I had received my white light to tell me everything was fine at the crossing but as I approached I could see the lorry and I knew through my experience and instinct that it was not going to stop.
"I just slammed on the brake as soon as I realised, " said 35-year-old Mr Fisher, who is also one of the driving instructors for the area.
Once the crash had happened both men relied on their training and experience to get them and their passengers through the ordeal.
"Nigel came through to the middle of the train where I was and said that the emergency services had been called so then my first reaction was to make sure the passengers were all right. I went round to each passenger individually to make sure they were all right and try to keep the situation calm. I knew I had hurt myself but I do not think I realised how bad it was at that point," said Mr Williams, who suffered deep tissue damage to his arm in the accident.
"The passengers were really good and everyone stayed calm, it was just a good job there were no children on board.
"The funny story was that when I was knocked off my feet all the money I had collected fell out of my pockets.
"The passengers started picking it all up to give them something to focus on. When it came back to Ipswich yesterday it was all there – right down to the last penny.
"The accident just happened so quickly and it was our training and experience that pulled us through," he added.