Ex-soldier admits causing train derailment in crash

AN EX-SOLDIER is today awaiting his punishment after admitting causing a crash which derailed a train.

Jason Whitehead drove a green Vauxhall Vectra into a moving freight train in Ipswich last November, forcing one of its carriages off the tracks.

The crash happened at the corner of Lindbergh Road and Cobham Road, near Derby Road station, causing disruption to National Express East Anglia services on the line between Ipswich and Felixstowe and leaving the car badly damaged.

The 37-year-old, from Alexandra Road, Colchester, and formerly of King’s Way, Ipswich, originally denied dangerous driving when he appeared before magistrates, claiming that he was not driving the car.

But on Friday he admitted the charge, as well as driving with no insurance and driving without a licence, at Ipswich Crown Court. Whitehead was believed to have sustained a leg injury in the crash, which happened just before 12.30pm on November 12, but no-one on the train was hurt.

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He will reappear before a judge for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court during the week commencing Monday, August 9.

Whitehead miraculously escaped serious injury when his car clipped a kerb and crashed through security fencing before colliding with the train, which was carrying chemicals.

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The front of the car was completely crushed in the collision and wreckage scattered on the tracks. All services on the line were suspended for several hours as replacement buses ferried passengers to their destinations while the clear-up operation took place.

Police said Whitehead walked away from the scene but was arrested in nearby Queen’s Way before being questioned by detectives at Ipswich police station and bailed.

Police closed the two roads as scenes of crime officers combed the scene for forensic evidence.

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