Train crash child fights for life

AN INVESTIGATION was under way last night into a collision involving a train and a car on a Suffolk level-crossing that left a 10-year-old boy fighting for his life.

The boy suffered life-threatening head injuries in the crash at the crossing at Barnby, near Beccles, on Saturday night.

Today the youngster was moved from the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he is said to be in a stable but potentially life-threatening condition.

The car in which was travelling was struck by the 7.02pm Ipswich to Lowestoft train operated by National Express East Anglia which was carrying 60 passengers. Following the collision the train passengers were taken by buses to their destinations. No one else was injured in the incident.

The car was being driven by a farmer, named locally as Richard Wright, and the boy was his grandson, named locally as James Howe.

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The circumstances surrounding the crash are being investigated by British Transport Police.

The crash happened at about 8.30pm at a level crossing known as the Gamekeepers or T19 crossing near Beccles Road. It is an occupational crossing, meaning that people wishing to cross it have to ring through in advance and are responsible for unlocking it and locking it themselves.

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Firefighters from Lowestoft, Beccles and Great Yarmouth were called to deal with the crash because of fears that someone was trapped in the car. However, a Suffolk Fire and Rescue service spokeswoman said that when fire crews arrived they found paramedics treating the boy and no one else was trapped.

The East of England Ambulance Service sent two ambulances and a rapid response vehicle.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “We received a call at 8.37pm reporting a car being struck by a train at an occupational crossing at Beccles Road, Barnby, Suffolk.

“As a result of the collision a 10-year-old boy, a passenger in the car, sustained serious head injuries and was taken to James Paget University Hospital where his condition is described as stable, but potentially life-threatening. There were no other reported injuries.

“An investigation into the circumstances of the incident is now under way and British Transport Police would like to hear from anyone with information about the collision.”

The line was closed for the rest of Saturday evening.

Late trains were replaced by buses – but normal train services resumed yesterday morning. Anyone with information on the collision should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.

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