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Death crash crossing barrier ‘working correctly’
9:40am Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
THE level crossing where a man died following a collision with a train earlier this month was working correctly at the time of the crash, an initial investigation has revealed.
Banbury man Tom Pizzey, 85, was killed when a Freightliner train hit the car he was a passenger in at the Sandy Lane line near Yarnton on January 2.
Yesterday the Oxford Mail, right, revealed the level crossing had malfunctioned 21 times in 2012.
Network Rail has said it does not believe there is a problem with the barrier despite the number of faults on the line.
It did not respond when asked to provide a breakdown of the 21 incidents – when they occurred, what the faults were or what action was taken. It said cabling problems were the cause of two incidents reported by members of the public in November and December but did not expand on the cause.
The driver of the car involved in the crash is still in hospital and has not yet been interviewed by the authorities.
British Transport Police spokesman Simon Letouze said: “Although the investigation continues into the incident, initial enquiries would suggest that the level crossing was functioning correctly.
“The driver of the vehicle remains in hospital, and clearly his full recovery is of paramount importance. “Officers will, however, speak to him in due course.
“In the meantime, a file will be prepared for the coroner’s inquest into the incident due to be held at a date yet to be set at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court.”
It is hoped that interviews with the driver will help reveal why the car was on the line at the time of the crash.
The line was closed on January 2 while an investigation was carried out by police and the rail industry.