Yarnton level crossing death 'unexplained'

The crash scene
Image caption Police are investigating how the car came to be on the track

Police are continuing to investigate how a car came to be on a Oxfordshire level crossing when it was struck by a train killing an elderly passenger.

The 85-year-old was a passenger in a Renault Kangoo when it was hit by a freight train at Yarnton on Wednesday.

The 78-year-old driver of the car remains stable in hospital. The driver of the train was said to be shaken but uninjured.

The train line between Oxford and Banbury reopened overnight.

Det Ch Insp Simon Taylor of British Transport Police said his officers would "continue to work to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident, including how the car came to be on the tracks".

Maurice Billington, county councillor for Kidlington and Yarnton, said the community was "very shocked" by the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

The train involved was travelling from Trafford Park in Greater Manchester to Southampton.

Police said the driver had pulled the emergency brake but was unable to stop in time.

After the crash Network Rail said there had been a problem at the crossing a year ago, with the barrier rising and falling slowly, but it had been fixed and it was in full working order.

A spokeswoman said: "The level crossing was in full working order beforehand. The lights were working and the barriers.

"That is part of the investigation so we will be looking at that. There is nothing to suggest it was not working beforehand."

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