'Lucky to be alive:' Doncaster pensioner's miracle escape from Doncaster train smash flying debris

A Doncaster pensioner has said he is lucky to be alive after flying debris from a smash between a car and high speed train crashed into his house and missed him by inches.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 11:48 am

Acker Shaw fears he could have been killed after a metal fence post from Sunday’s Rossington rail smash catapulted through the air and crashed into the roof of his home alongside the East Coast Main Line.

The impact uprooted a fence post which sailed through the air, smashed into his roof smashing tiles and brickwork and then falling onto the floor just inches away from Mr Shaw as he put rubbish into his bin.

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The LNER Azuma train suffered bodywork damage.
The LNER Azuma train suffered bodywork damage.

He said: “I’m lucky to be alive because if it had hit me I would have been a goner, it would have killed me.

"It all happened so fast.

"There was this massive bang then the next thing I know, there’s bits of metal and tiles coming down.

"A metal post has smashed into the roof, cracking the tiles and brickwork and then it came down into the garden, smashing an ornmental sink I’d put to one side.

Acker Shaw's Station Cottage home alongside the railway line at Rossington.

"A foot the other way and it would have hit me and I’d be dead and not here to tell the tale.”

Police are still investigating Sunday night’s smash which saw the driver of the stolen car flee from the scene.

Dramatic footage from a CCTV camera overlooking the track shows the Range Rover smash into a fence at the side of the crossing just as the Azuma train passes by.

The car then hits the side of the train which suffered a smashed window and bodywork damage and was taken out of service for repairs after the collision.

Acker Shaw says he cheated death by inches when debris from a train smash rained down on his house.

Mr Shaw, a keen charity fundraiser who has raised more than £85,000 in memory of his late wife Brenda, lives at Station Cottage which sits alongside the level crossing and is just yards away from the scene of the smash.

He said: “There was a noise like a bomb going off and then post came flying over and hit the corner of the house, smashing the tiles and the guttering.

"I’m right at the side of the track where I live. If the train had hit the car full on, it would have been an absolute disaster.

"I could hear the train rattling like hell. It could have gone straight into my house if it had derailed.

"I’ve lived here for forty years with never a worry about living so close to the railway line, but when something like this happens it does make you worry and think.

"It really was a bit of a close shave.”

South Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation into the incident and have urged anyone with information to come forward.

A spokesman said: “The driver of the Range Rover left the vehicle and fled the scene.

“Enquiries are ongoing to locate the driver of the vehicle, anybody with information should contact the police on 101 quoting incident number 1015 of 13 June.”