'Every day is a struggle': Rail worker who lost arm in accident calls for freight firm to apologise

  • Watch: exclusive report on Terry Currie’s ‘life-changing’ train crash near Folkestone

A railway worker who suffered life-changing injuries when a freight train ploughed into the vehicle he was driving is calling for his employer to accept responsibility for what happened so he can “move on with his life”.

Terry Currie lost his right arm in the accident at a goods yard close to the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Folkestone, Kent, in September 2018.

Earlier this year the company responsible for the site, DB Cargo, was fined £200,000 pounds in the courts, after admitting a health and safety failure.

Speaking exclusively to ITV News Meridian, Mr Currie said he’s “yet to receive an apology” from the firm and feels like he’s “in limbo”.

The 45-year-old suffered a number of injuries in the accident and needed dozens of stitches to his head. Credit: Terry Currie

DB Cargo UK described the incident as “deeply regrettable” and said changes were immediately made to how people move around the Dollands Moor facility. 

Mr Currie, who is 45 and from Maidstone, was in a petrol-powered buggy on a level crossing in the yard when a freight train hit the vehicle side on at 3.39am on 4 September, 2018. He lost his right arm, broke multiple bones and needed 50 stitches in an open head wound.

Terry Currie was sitting in a small buggy, similar to this one, when it was struck by a train on a level crossing. Credit: Rail Accident Investigation Branch

His job as a shunter had involved inspecting goods wagons as they arrived in the sidings.

An accident report had criticised the use of buggies to cross the tracks without the protection of red signals and instead of subways.

An official accident report cited the management of the Dollands Moor yard, in Folkestone, as an underlying factor. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Patrick Talbot, HM Principal Inspector of Railways at the Office of Rail and Road, said “We found DB Cargo failed to carry our a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks associated with the movement of people and trains within the yard and as a result a safe system of work hadn’t been implemented to protect workers as they moved around the yard carrying out their duties.”

Terry Currie believes the “systems were there to avoid” the accident and he was “trained in a certain way which was wrong”.

He wants the company to accept liability for what happened and pay him compensation, so he can “get on with his life”. His lawyers say they will have to start legal proceedings if no admission is forthcoming. 

  • Terry Currie, railway worker:

Trevor Sterling, solicitor at Moore Barlow, said: “This injury is life-changing and for Terry to be afforded the appropriate quality of life, he will require the use of prosthetics, which are expensive and it’s important that he has compensation.”

The goods yard is close to the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Kent.

DB Cargo UK declined our request for an interview, but in a statement a spokesman said: 

“The safety of our employees, other rail users and the general public is of paramount importance to  DB Cargo UK and our thoughts are with our colleague who was injured in this incident. 

“Although deeply regrettable, this was a unique and isolated incident and voluntary steps were  immediately taken by the company to cease the use of all buggies at Dollands Moor. 

“The relevant site risk assessments and safe systems of work have been reviewed and all operatives  have received appropriate refresher training.”

Terry Currie is still an employee of the firm but has been unable to return to work since the accident. “I can’t envisage myself carrying on with my career on or near the railway because it’s just too traumatic,” he added. “I couldn’t do it to me or my family, my children… it would be difficult.”

He hopes he can help ensure no one else suffers such life-changing injuries while simply doing their job.