- West Country (E)
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A motorist who died when his car was hit by a train on a level crossing has been named as Dennis William France. The 65 year old was driving a red Peugeot 306 which apparently drove through a closing barrier near Athelney between Taunton and Castle Cary, Somerset, last Thursday.
The vehicle was struck by the 05.46 service from Exeter to London Paddington and was shunted half-a-mile down the track. Yesterday an inquest into his death was opened and adjourned in Taunton by Michael Rose, the coroner for West Somerset.
The court was told that Mr France, of Curload near Stoke St Gregory, Somerset, died of "traumatic injuries". A full inquest will be held later.
A man was killed and train services from Plymouth to London severely disrupted after a train struck a car at a level crossing near Taunton.
It happened at the Athelney crossing at around 6.30am, which is on the line between Taunton and Castle Cary.
Network Rail has confirmed the barriers were down at the time and the car was on the track when it was hit.
Our Somerset correspondent David Woodland reports:
The Senior Fire Commander at the scene of the level crossing crash in Somerset says dealing with it was a challenge in dangerous circumstances.
The Incident Commander says that the quick response of all the crews involved was crucial.
Services between Westbury and Taunton have resumed after being disrupted following a fatal accident at the Athelney level crossing.
First Great Western says replacement buses will remain in operation until services are fully back to normal.
A man has been killed and train services from the South West to London severely disrupted after a train struck a car at a level crossing near Taunton. It happened at the Athelney crossing at around 6.30 am. Our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland has sent this report from the scene:
Bob Crow, the general secretary of the RMT transport union has commented on this morning's crash at the level crossing near Taunton, calling for action to be taken to address the dangers.
Witnesses of the fatal train crash in Somerset have said the barriers at the level crossing were lowered when the car drove on to the track.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: "The train driver and First Great Western staff have given a statement to British Transport Police that the barriers were lowered and the car was seen to drive on to the crossing."
Firefighters from Devon & Somerset Fire Service have now removed the vehicle from the front of the train using hydraulic cutting equipment. Crews are still at the scene assisting other emergency services and rail operators.