Victim of fatal collision with train is a 16-year-old boy from Rotselaar: “There should already have been a bridge for cyclists at that location”

Victim of fatal collision with train is a 16-year-old boy from Rotselaar: “There should already have been a bridge for cyclists at that location”
Victim of fatal collision with train is a 16-year-old boy from Rotselaar: “There should already have been a bridge for cyclists at that location”
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The figures don’t lie: the train tracks remain dangerous. In 2023, there were another 31 accidents, in which a total of six people died. On Tuesday evening, the first death due to a train accident occurred at Wezemaal station in the new year.

The victim was a 16-year-old cyclist from Rotselaar who was hit by a train. According to the Leuven public prosecutor’s office, it was an accident, but the exact circumstances are still unclear. The police, fire brigade and an ambulance arrived on the scene, but help could no longer help.

READ ALSO. Underage cyclist dies in collision on railway crossing in Rotselaar

Fatal decision

“It is a tragic accident,” says Thomas Baeken, spokesperson at Infrabel. “This should never have happened. At the level crossing the red lights were flashing and the barrier was down, but the cyclist apparently ignored this. He tried to cross, but that decision was fatal.”

The cyclist was hit by a train. — © mdt

The collision happened at the level crossing in the Langestraat in Wezemaal, where Infrabel is renovating the station area. This means that cars can no longer cross the tracks, but cyclists and pedestrians can. “Although these works are separate from the accident itself,” says Baeken. “Because the road signals clearly indicate when it is or is not dangerous to cross.”

Cyclists’ bridge

A tunnel should be built at the site of the accident by the summer of 2025, under which all road users can pass safely. “That makes it extra sour,” says Baeken. “Because it is a level crossing that will disappear in the long term. We can only regret this.”

READ ALSO. Despite countless campaigns, closed transitions are still ignored: “Just hallucinating”

Work on the level crossing has been on hold for some time now. To such an extent that they have also suffered delays in the meantime. For example, there should have been a cyclist and pedestrian bridge on Tuesday evening, over which vulnerable road users can pass safely.

“It is indeed true that the bridge should have already been there,” says Thomas Baeken of Infrabel, which is coordinating the works. “But there has been some delay, so it is not there yet. Although it doesn’t make a world of difference whether the bridge is there or not. The fact remains that the boy should have respected the traffic rules and stopped there. But when that bridge is in place, the level crossing will be completely closed to pedestrians and cyclists.”

READ ALSO. After a woman with a pram, a motorcyclist also crosses a closed railway line: “Hallucinant”

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