Yarnton level crossing death: Thomas Pizzey was 'kind and gentle'

Tom Pizzey
Image caption Thomas Pizzey was travelling in the car with another man

The family of a man killed when the car he was in was struck by a train on a Oxfordshire level crossing said he was "kind, generous and gentle".

Thomas Pizzey, 85, from Banbury, was a passenger in a Renault Kangoo when it was hit by a freight train at Yarnton on Wednesday. He died at the scene.

His niece Linda Mogford said: "He will be greatly missed by his family and those who loved him."

The 78-year-old male driver remains in a stable condition in hospital.

The train driver was said to be shaken but unhurt.

Ms Mogford added: "My uncle Tom was a kind, generous and gentle man and this incident has come as a great shock to all the family.

"We would like to thank everyone for their kind messages of support at this very difficult and sad time and extend our sympathies to those who knew Tom in Banbury.

"We would ask for privacy to grieve and come to terms with our loss."

Unable to stop

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".

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

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.

Det Ch Insp Taylor added: "I'd urge anyone who was at the crossing at the time or who has information to get in touch.

"I'd also like to pass my thanks to the members of the public who tended to Mr Pizzey and the driver following the incident before police arrival and the local community for their cooperation and patience on Wednesday evening."

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.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the Office of Rail Regulation have been informed.

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