Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Dad risks life of toddler by speeding through closed level crossing and crashing into train

Dad banned from driving after crashing into train at level crossing with toddler inside Credit: British Transport Police

A father from Suffolk who risked the life of his young daughter by speeding through a closed level crossing and colliding with a train has been banned from driving.

James Wheeler was given a 16-month jail term suspended for 12 months, a two year driving ban and 240 hours of community service for endangering a life.

He suffered back injuries in the crash while, remarkably, his 18-month-old daughter was unhurt.

Warning lights flashed and the barriers began to close as the thirty-five year old headed towards the level crossing in Trimley St Martin, Suffolk, in June last year.

He was seen swerving onto the opposite side of the road to dodge a barrier then smashing into an oncoming train, wrecking his car.

“Wheeler played fast and loose with the life of his young daughter when he decided to jump a level crossing.

"The warning signs were there and they were not heeded. It is a miracle that no one was badly injured or killed."

– DC Alan Reed, British Transport Police
The driver James Wheeler suffered back injuries in the crash with a train but remarkably his daughter was unhurt. Credit: British Transport Police

Wheeler was found lying injured next to the vehicle and was taken to hospital for treatment for a spinal injury.

His daughter was pulled out of the back of the wrecked car by witnesses unharmed.

Wheeler from Craig Close in Trimley St Martin claimed he had been driving around the area in an attempt to encourage his daughter to fall asleep.

He added that he had got into a dispute with locals after a near miss with a pedestrian; he said he sped off towards the level crossing when they gave chase and threw rocks.