Name released in fatal train accident

Police have named the woman who died after being hit by a train near Ashburton on Wednesday.

She was Angela Mary Bennetts, 37, of Ashburton.

Bennetts died after being hit by a train near Tinwald on Wednesday about 10.45am.

She had appeared to have driven her car off State Highway 1 onto the grass verge, walked on to the tracks and been hit by the train, police said.

The car did not hit the train, but was found ablaze when emergency services arrived at the scene.

Sergeant Steve Burgerhout, of Ashburton, said the woman had been driving a car pursued by police in Ashburton earlier that day.

Members of public had been concerned by the woman's behaviour and alerted police, he said.

He said an officer went to stop her. A short pursuit ensued but was stopped after about 300 metres.

The same police officer was still in central Ashburton when he was radioed about the accident, about two kilometres south of Ashburton, Burgerhout said.

The KiwiRail freight train had been travelling from Dunedin to Christchurch. The driver of the train would undergo counselling, Burgerhout said.

Bennetts' death has been referred to the coroner.

The Press