Safety probe after truck driver dies in train crash

Transport safety officials are poring over a crash site at a Victorian level crossing to work out what caused a V/Line train and a truck to collide, leaving one man dead.

The truck’s driver died after his vehicle struck the V/Line train near Barwon Terrace in South Geelong at 6.40am on Monday.

The injured driver was freed from the wreckage by firefighters and treated by paramedics, but he died at the scene.

It appeared the truck had gone past the level crossing boom gates and the train was not able to stop in time, acting Senior Sergeant Fletcher Pearson said.

The train driver was not injured but was left shaken.

“It’s not a good scenario,” Snr Sgt Pearson said.

“He’s come to work. He’s doing nothing wrong. He’s driving down and we’ve got a truck that, for some reason, has turned on the train tracks in front of him.”

No passengers were on board the service, which had been heading towards Waurn Ponds and was due to travel to Melbourne.

Damage to the train appeared to be limited to a broken light and a scrape on one carriage.

Coaches replaced Geelong and Warrnambool V/Line services through the area on Monday morning but normal train services resumed about 1pm.

The temporarily closed section of train line caters to more than 110 journeys each weekday.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau launched an investigation into the crash and workers on site were examining railway infrastructure, the truck and other evidence.

“Should any critical safety issues be identified at any stage during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken,” a spokesman said.

V/Line has also started an internal safety investigation.

“We are offering our full support to our train driver and conductor who were involved in the incident and send our thoughts to the family and friends of the truck driver who passed away,” chief executive Matt Carrick said.

“We thank passengers for their understanding and patience as we worked to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible across the day.”

Anyone who saw the incident has been urged to contact police.

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