Man Survives Head-on Collision with a Train in Firgrove


A 51-year-old man has survived a head-on collision with a train in Firgrove. He is in a serious but stable condition. His vehicle hit a train at a railway crossing near Firgrove. The train was travelling from the Strand towards Cape Town when it collided head-on with the victims vehicle near the R102 on Thursday afternoon.

A Cape Argus reporter, who was travelling on the train, said she felt it jolt on impact with the car and, moments later, saw the vehicle rolling alongside the railway line.The vehicle landed on its roof between the trains tracks and the road, leaving the driver trapped inside.

By then, the train had stopped and passengers got out to see what had happened. The SAPS were the first officials on the scene and secured the area soon before Kearns's family arrived, all visibly distressed.Paramedics arrived at the scene about a half an hour later and ER24 spokesperson Tristan Wadeley said they were forced to use the jaws of life and hydraulic jacks to remove Kearns through the broken rear window of his car.The rescue operation took almost an hour before paramedics were able to transport him, in a stable condition, to Vergelegen Medi-Clinic in Somerset West for further medical treatment.Wadeley later confirmed that the driver was in a serious but stable condition in hospital.Somerset West police spokesperson Constable Susan Jantjies said police were investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving.She said the train had been unable to continue its journey and passengers were taken back to Firgrove station to catch another train.Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said the slight damage to the train was valued at about R20 000 and that Metrorail would investigate the incident.

This article was originally published on page 8 of Cape Argus on June 18, 2010

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