Train crash driver is questioned by police

Four-year-old Emma Lifsey.
Four-year-old Emma Lifsey.

OFFICERS investigating the death of a four-year-old Haxey girl who died tragically after the car she was in was hit by a train say they have spoken to the woman driver involved.

Emma Lifsey suffered serious injuries following the crash at Beech Hill Crossing, Misson Springs on December 4. She was airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital but died a few hours later.

An ongoing investigation has revealed it happened after the Volvo car “drove through a barrier and into the path of the approaching train”.

The 67-year-old woman who was driving the car received serious neck injuries during the collision. A team of detectives are looking at how the vehicle came to be on tracks.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said they had now spoken to the driver and the investigation into the incident is ongoing as part of the file being prepared for the coroner.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released information on its website that said the level crossing was fitted with a data logger that showed that the crossing was operating normally at the time of the accident, with the barriers lowered as the car approached.

The weather was sunny at the time of the collision but there had been rain showers earlier and the road surface was wet. The car was travelling in the north to south direction over the crossing when it drove through a barrier and into the path of the approaching train.

The RAIB is currently carrying out an investigation and said it intends to identify the sequence of events leading up to the crash, assess the likely impact of glare from the sun on the actions of the car driver and consider the conspicuity of the crossing equipment (barriers and lights).

The investigation will also consider whether the design of the road signs and equipment at automatic crossings is appropriate and whether it could be improved.

The RAIB said its report was to be independent of any investigations by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation) and the British Transport Police.

A private family funeral was held for Emma on December 17.