Man arrested for drink driving over South Western Railway level crossing collision

By Florence Leslie
December 20 2019, 14.55

A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving after his car crashed into a train in Wokingham last night.  

The South Western Railway (SWR) train departing from Waterloo station collided with the a car at Waterloo Road Level Crossing around 11.30pm.

A British Transport Police spokesperson said: “Fortunately, no one was injured and the driver of the vehicle was able to escape the car before it was struck.” 

The driver, also suspected of endangering safety on the railway, remains in police custody as enquiries continue.

Approximately 46 passengers were stranded on the train for around two hours.

SHOCKED: Passengers escorted from train tracks

Passengers reported they felt something underneath the first carriage as the train braked. 

An SWL reporter on the train at the time of the collision, witnessed several announcements made by the guard warning passengers not to attempt to escape onto the tracks as live wires posed a risk of death.

One witness, 26, who does not wish to be identified and boarded the train at Waterloo said: “I am feeling trapped but the best of British is coming out of me because we are all bonding in a bad situation.”

An SWR guard was heard asking: ‘Sweets anyone? No takers, it’s free,’ while handing out complementary chocolate bars to passengers with dietary needs or low blood sugar. 

Emergency services arrived at around 12.30am after which passengers were evacuated onto the tracks via a ladder.

STRANDED: Transport police board the train

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue crew then escorted them to the level crossing where they boarded a coach.

Police, ambulance and fire services remained overnight to clear the wreckage. 

An SWR spokesperson said: “Following a road accident at a level crossing train services between Wokingham and Ascot are suspended.”

Replacement buses have been arranged to run between Wokingham and Ascot stopping at stations in between. 

Travellers are encouraged to check the SWR website for more information.

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