A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl has died after the car she was travelling in was hit by a train on a South Yorkshire level crossing.
The child - named today as Emma Lifsey - was airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and rushed into intensive care following the collision yesterday on a remote crossing on Spring Road, Misson Springs, near Doncaster, but tragically died in the early hours of this morning.
In a statement issued through British Transport Police, Emma’s parents, Mark and Zoe Lifsey, from Haxey, said: “Emma meant the world to us. She was our much-loved daughter and a baby sister to her 11-year-old brother Jack.
“We are still trying to come to terms with the terrible incident on Tuesday afternoon and there are no words that can properly express how utterly distraught we are.
We would like to thank everyone for the many messages of sympathy and support we have received.
“As you can appreciate, this tragic incident has left us shocked and devastated and we would ask that we can be left to grieve in private at this acutely difficult and sad time for us.”
The car was struck by the single-carriage 11.54am Lincoln to Doncaster East Midlands Trains passenger service just after 12.30pm yesterday.
A Sheffield Children’s Hospital spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the four-year-old girl brought into hospital yesterday (December 4) following the incident at the Beech Hill crossing on Springs Road, on the border of Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, was sadly pronounced dead in the early hours Wednesday, 5 December.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the child’s family at this very sad time.”
Sympathies were also expressed by the train operator whose service was involved in the crash.
David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: “Our thoughts are with the parents of Emma Lifsey and their loved ones at this very difficult time.
“We are working closely with Network Rail and the British Transport Police to support the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.
“Safety is our absolutely priority. We will be doing everything possible in the days ahead to assist the investigation into identifying the cause of this tragic incident.
“Work is continuing this morning to move the train from the incident site to allow normal services to start running again. Further updates will be provided at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.”
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “The driver of the vehicle, a 67-year-old woman, received serious neck injuries and bruising and was taken to hospital in Doncaster, where she remains at present in a stable condition.
“The four-year-old girl, Emma Lifsey, sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where she was sadly pronounced dead in the early hours Wednesday, 5 December. Her family have been notified.
“The police investigation into the incident is ongoing and remains very much in the early stages. Officers are working hard to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident, including how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at the time.
“This will include speaking to any witnesses to the incident, while specialist officers will also look at evidence from the scene and the car in question, a black Volvo which has now been recovered.”
Nobody on the train was injured, and the car driver, a 67-year-old woman, was taken to Doncaster Hospital with neck injuries and bruising.
Yesterday British Transport Police and Network Rail said it was too early to reveal whether the level crossing was working correctly.