Knockaphunta, Ireland: Car driven into side of train

10 Jun

A car collided with a train which was passing over the Knockaphunta user-worked level crossing in County Mayo. The collision occurred at about 18.35 on June 8th, 2014. Although the car was extensively damaged, the motorist escaped without visible injury. Irish Rail has said that the independent Rail Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) has launched an investigation.

Knockaphunta user-worked level crossing at the time of an investigation in 2010-2011

Knockaphunta user-worked level crossing at the time of an investigation in 2010-2011

The RAIU has previously investigated an incident when a vehicle was hit while reversing off the crossing. This accident occurred on October 25th, 2010. The RAIU found:

The immediate cause of the accident to be:
– The car had stopped at the level crossing, in a position that encroached into the path of the approaching train, and then was struck by the train while the motorist attempting to reverse clear of the level crossing.

The contributory factors were:
– There were no road markings or marker posts at the level crossing to identify the decision point for users to allow them to stop clear of the railway line and make a decision to cross safely or wait;
– The level crossing gates, which provide a barrier to the railway, were open when the car driver arrived at the level crossing.

The underlying factor was:
– Irish Rail had not introduced adequate measures to reduce the frequent misuse at the level crossing in relation to level crossing users leaving the gates open to the railway.

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