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Felixstowe Road level crossing crash victim suffered ‘life-changing injuries’

PUBLISHED: 11:02 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:13 16 March 2018

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on the level crossing.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on the level crossing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A man is in hospital with “life-changing injuries” after the car he was driving collided with a freight train at a Suffolk level crossing last night.

The scene of the crash.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe scene of the crash. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The crash happened at the Routs crossing off Felixstowe Road near Nacton around 8.20pm yesterday.

Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) attended alongside medics from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

A BTP spokesman said the car driver, believed to be in his 30s, sustained “life-changing injuries”.

The victim remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition, he added.

The scene of a crash at Routs level crossing. Picture: SKY CAM EASTThe scene of a crash at Routs level crossing. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

A spokesman for EEAST said the man was taken to Ipswich Hospital with “suspected back and neck injuries”.

He added the train driver was uninjured.

A photographer from Sky Cam East captured images of the aftermath, which show a car badly damaged near the tracks.

No trains are running between Ipswich and Felixstowe today as engineers from Network Rail carry out repairs.

The scene of a crash at Routs level crossing. Picture: SKY CAM EASTThe scene of a crash at Routs level crossing. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

The BTP spokesman said the incident was not currently being treated as suspicious.

A witness, who wished not to be named, was working in a building just 15 yards from where the crash took place.

He said: “There was a loud noise and the walls of the building started shaking as the train was braking.

“It sounded like a big crash of metal on metal and they I heard the brakes screeching.

“I had my music playing but heard the bang and scraping noise over it.

“I saw the train stop and by the end it was half way across the crossing.

“The car had got pushed forwards because of the force of the train.

“The car was wrecked.

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision at the level crossing on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBritish Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision at the level crossing on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It took a long distance to stop, it was a very long train.

“I walked up there and saw all the police and ambulances.”

Investigations are being carried out in partnership between BTP, Network Rail, the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

The level crossing is located opposite the Miller and Carter restaurant in Felixstowe Road, and leads to the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park.

Investigations under way - British Transport Police and Network Rail at the scene.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNInvestigations under way - British Transport Police and Network Rail at the scene. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It is manually operated with red and green lights and a push button to open the gates.

Network Rail has confirmed the correct use of the crossing is as follows:

1. Check the red/green light is showing green;

2. Push the button to open the gate;

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBritish Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

3. Once gates are open, check the light is still showing green;

4. Drive across.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “At approximately 8.20pm a freight train collided with a car at Routs crossing near Nacton.

“We are assisting the BTP, Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch with their investigations and the line remains closed while repairs are carried out.

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBritish Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Our thoughts are with the driver of the vehicle.”

A rail replacement bus service operated by Angies will run between Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Greater Anglia tickets will be accepted on First Suffolk bus routes 75, 76, 77 and X7 between the two towns.

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBritish Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Level crossing warning sign.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLevel crossing warning sign. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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