Daring train track rescue of woman trapped at boom gates
A YOUNG policeman has recalled the moment he saved a woman whose car was trapped in the path of an oncoming train.
Howard-based officer Constable Pat Cronin was driving behind the woman when her car got stuck between the boom gates at the Torbanlea train crossing on Gympie St.
Const Cronin said the woman was following another car which did not stop when the red lights alerting drivers of an on-coming train started to flash.
Both cars tried to cross but because the first car had to stop at the next intersection, the woman became stuck on the tracks as the boom gate came down.
Const Cronin jumped into action.
"I felt like I was going to have front-row seats for a serious crash," Const Cronin said.
"I've been in this division for a while and I knew the train was going through there."
Fortunately for the driver and the officer, the train had stopped a few hundred metres up the track.
Const Cronin forced the boom gates open but before he could see if the woman was okay, she drove off.
This earned her a ticket.
"Unfortunately for that driver, she was issued an infringement notice for entering a level crossing while warning lights or bells are operation which will cost her $365 and 3 points," he said.
"However I spoke to her on the phone and she said it was better than the alternative, she's lucky the train didn't actually come."
The officer said about four other people were charged with the same offence around the time he helped the woman.
"Torbanlea's good because there are gates that come down, but in Howard at another crossing there's just the lights," he said.
"People just need to pay attention and obey the rules."