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Ute's close call at level crossing stuns onlookers

Georgia May, Hawkes Bay Today,
Publish Date
Sunday, 6 January 2019, 3:05PM

A driver's near miss with a Kiwi Rail freight train has shocked onlookers.

A video posted to a community Facebook page shows a a grey ute crossing the barrier-free train tracks just seconds before the train glides over the rail crossing on near Shed 2, Ahuriri on Friday afternoon.

The video was taken by 11 year old train spotter and enthusiast who witnessed the nail biting scene.

In earlier reports, his mother said she was both 'horrified' and 'scared' when viewing the footage.

"He was terrified because there were kids in the back [of the ute]. What could have happened and how many people could have been impacted?" she told Newshub.

"What was so important that you ignored a great big yellow train coming towards you? Was it worth it?"

The post sparked outrage on social media with more than more than 440 reactions and hundreds of comments.

The driver was labelled as 'totally insane' with one person writing "The bells were ringing and the lights flashing ... surely that was enough warning for the driver?"

Others claimed that they had seen similar driving behaviour many times.

KiwiRail confirmed that they had been contacted about the incident at Ahuriri.

"It is, however, too early to verify exactly what occurred and KiwiRail will speak with the Locomotive Engineer (LE) who was driving the train," she said.

"KiwiRail's LEs are required to report all near misses along the network and investigations then take place. If a vehicle driver is found to have placed themselves, the public, or our people in danger then a number of actions can be taken including involving the police.

Safety is always KiwiRail's priority and it is important particularly at holiday times that motorists and pedestrians remember that trains are running. Our message is to always expect trains from either direction."


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