A horror rail crash near Doncaster in which a four-year-old child died ‘looked like a bomb going off’, and inquest heard.
Emma Lifsey, of Haxey, died when the car that she was a passenger in was hit by a train at Beech Hill level crossing in Misson Springs, near Finningley, in conditions where low sun was making it difficult for drivers to see.
The car was being driven by her grandmother, Diane Jarrett.
Witness Catherine Hart, who was driving behind Mrs Jarrett at the time, told an inquest: “It was very wet on the ground and very sunny. The sun was reflecting off the floor which made it even worse, you couldn’t actually see the lights unless you dipped your head down under the visor.
“I saw the barrier was down and the lights and that’s when the car in front’s brake lights came on.
“I stopped my car and that’s when the train came and hit the car. From what I saw I didn’t think there’d be anything left. It was like a bomb had exploded.”
The driver of the train, Antony Rushby, also told of his shock at the incident, which happened on December 4, 2012.
He said: “I became aware of an almighty crashing noise as I went over the crossing, I had no idea what the train had hit and I had no time to apply my brakes.”
Mrs Jarrett told the court she had been driving for 50 years and had travelled down that road hundreds of times.
“I didn’t see the lights or the barrier until it was too late. It was like they were invisible to me as I drove along that road,” she added.
The inquest at Nottinghamshire Coroner’s Court was told that the lights on the crossing were working as they should have but the sun would effect how well people could see them.
A statement from Emma’s parents was also read out by her grandfather Peter Jarrett which described the ‘gaping hole’ the youngster’s death had left in their lives.
The hearing continues today is expected to conclude on Thursday.