Felixstowe Road level crossing crash victim suffered 'life-changing injuries'
PUBLISHED: 11:02 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:13 16 March 2018
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 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.
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 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.
“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.
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;
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.
“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.