Elderly woman dies after train hits car

An 83-year-old has died after her car was hit by an unscheduled train at an open level crossing.

Sally Phoebe Hudson died on Wednesday after her car was hit on the Cambrian coast line near her home in Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd. Her death is not being treated as suspicious but is being investigated by police and rail accident officers.

Emergency services were called to the scene just after noon, which included the air ambulance, but unfortunately despite their best efforts Mrs Hudson could not be saved and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The train that hit Mrs Hudson was an unscheduled train which was testing the track and carried no passengers, it was travelling towards Porthmadog. The three members of crew on the train were not injured in the crash but were suffering from shock.

Mrs Hudson had been driving her Fiat Punto, when she was hit on the rail track, had used the crossing regularly and was very familiar with the passenger train times. The unmanned level crossing has a telephone which locals are supposed to use to call the control room to check if it is safe to cross. It is unclear whether Mr Hudson had made a call or had just crossed anyway as she believed she knew all the train times. The train which hit her however, was an unscheduled track tester.

Her neighbour Dawn Wolfe told of her shock at the terrible circumstances surrounding Mrs Hudson’s death. She said: “Sally was a really lovely woman, an amazing, sprightly, lively, very traditional woman. She had lived in the village for years and knows the routines and times of trains very well. It was not a scheduled train that was involved so maybe that caught her out.”

The crossing remained closed while investigations were carried out and the remains of the car wreckage could be seen where the train came to a halt, 100 yards beyond the crossing point.

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “I can confirm that an elderly woman had died at the scene. She was the sole occupant of the Fiat Punto car which was involved in the collision.”

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has also launched an investigation onto the accident and the local coroner has been informed.


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