Truck driver in a critical condition
A truck driver remains in a critical condition after a collision with a train in Ashburton, the second such incident at the crossing in a year.
The train driver repeatedly sounded his horn before it hit the truck about 9am yesterday.
A Christchurch Hospital spokeswoman said the truck driver, who is in his early 20s, was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The truckie was attempting to negotiate the Northpark Rd give-way controlled railway crossing as he headed west toward State Highway 1.
The crossing has no flashing lights or barrier arms and is used to enter and exit the Ashburton Business Park. In May last year, a Verkerks truck-and-trailer unit was hit by a southbound KiwiRail train at the crossing. Sun strike was blamed
In 2002, a truck driver was killed when he hit a north-bound freight train.
The impact of yesterday's collision pushed the truck off the railway line into a nearby paddock. The train stopped about 500 metres further south along the line.
Witnesses told police the train warning device sounded more than once before the collision.
KiwiRail said its train driver was "very shaken" by the incident and would be offered counselling.
The crossing is scheduled to be upgraded with new flashing lights and bells within the next two to three months.