Train hits car on West Coast
A woman is seriously injured after her car was hit by a train near Reefton on the West Coast.
A St John spokeswoman said the woman, in her 50s, was flown by rescue helicopter to Christchurch Hospital. She had multiple serious injuries.
It was understood she was the only person in the car.
The collision happend about 1.30pm at the Swamp Creek Rd crossing, 15 km north of Reefton and 10km south of Inangahua.
Sergeant Sean Judd said it was thought the woman was driving from her house on Swamp Creek Rd, and crossed the tracks to reach State Highway 69.
She was driving a ute and it appeared the south-bound train hit the driver's side of the door.
A KiwiRail spokeswoman said the coal train wa en route to Lyttelton from Westport. It weighed more 2000 tonnes and was about 470 metres long.
A train that size would take about one kilometre to stop, she said.
Swamp Creek Rd is a rural, unsealed road, with a rail crossing at the intersection of Reefton Highway. The railway runs parallel to the highway.
The crossing had stop signs but no warning bells or barrier arms, she said.
Incidents like this were stressful for train drivers. "It's awful for them."
Drivers were often stood down and offered support after accidents.