A 15-year-old boy from Wervik escaped death on Tuesday morning when he slipped past the lowered barriers with his bicycle. The train hit the boy’s rear wheel seconds later. As a result, the teenager suffered a head injury. Rail manager Infrabel reacts to the incident with complete incomprehension.
The accident occurred at 8.15 am at the Molenstraat level crossing in Wervik. “The barriers had been lowered, cars were waiting,” says Infrabel spokesman Thomas Baeken. “At the level crossing in question there is even a small barrier at the cycle path, as extra security. It did not prevent the young man from slaloming past and crossing the crossing.”
Rear wheel tapped
Just when the student was almost successful, the train hit the rear wheel of his bicycle. As a result, the teenager fell. He suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital. Train traffic between Poperinge and Menen was stopped, the 50 stranded travelers were able to get off at the platform of Wervik station. Some of them were subsequently transferred to Kortrijk station by scheduled bus. “The accident, during the morning rush hour, had quite a few consequences,” says Thomas Baeken. “Train traffic remained suspended until shortly after 10.30am.”
We notice that many people estimate the speed of an approaching train far too low. It only increases the risk of a fatal outcome
Thomas Baeken, spokesperson for Infrabel
Red = stop
According to Baeken, the teenager was very lucky. “First and foremost, you are of course not allowed to cross the level crossing when the barriers are lowered. We have given that message hundreds of times in the past. It’s not difficult: when the lights are red, you have to stop. Point. Unfortunately, we regularly find that people are playing with their lives by trying to cross the road. We also notice that most people underestimate the speed of an approaching train. It only increases the risk of a fatal outcome.”
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