THE crash between a Range Rover and a freight train in Northumberland a week ago which left a schoolboy critically injured was caused by a second car on the wrong side of the road.
Investigators are now treating the incident as a hit-and-run and have launched a full-scale investigation to identify the other vehicle. The woman driving the Range Rover westwards between Haltwhistle and Greenhead with her two sons aged 15 and 11 was forced to swerve out of the way and crashed on to the adjacent Newcastle-Carlisle railway line.
An oncoming freight train caught the stricken car a “glancing blow”, but the family fortunately escaped with their lives.
The youngest boy caught the worst of the impact and had to be flown to hospital in Newcastle where his injuries remain “potentially life-threatening” seven days later.
The mother and eldest son, whose identities have not been revealed, sustained only minor injuries and did not go to hospital.
Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Peter Reeve said: “Our inquiries have led us to believe that the Range Rover swerved to avoid an as yet unidentified vehicle which was travelling towards it in the wrong lane. The Range Rover swerved out of its path and came off the road, crossing the eastbound carriageway, going through a fence and hitting the side of a passing freight train.
“It does not appear that the Range Rover was struck by the other vehicle before swerving off the road.
“However we are treating this as a hit-and-run. We are now making inquiries to trace this vehicle.
“The crash has had a devastating affect on the family involved and I am asking that anyone with information about the other vehicle contact officers in our Road Safety Unit on the101 non-emergency number, or on 01661 872555 if you live outside our force area.”
The accident happened at about 4.25pm on December 5 in late-afternoon darkness.
The crew of the freight train was not injured but the rail line and part of the A69 were closed for several hours as investigations got under way.