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Driver of ute hit by train in Devonport says he got stuck on track after swerving to avoid wallaby

Pulse Tasmania
The ute was pushed along the track for several metres. Image / Supplied

The driver of a ute that was hit by a freight train on the north-west coast says he became stuck on the track after swerving to avoid a wallaby.

The collision occurred at around 6am on Wednesday on Stony Rise Road, five minutes from Devonport, when TasRail locomotive TR16 hit the white Toyota ute.

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Speaking to 7 Tasmania, the unharmed driver Rob Brown said local council workers were quick to alert him to the oncoming train.

“They tried to move it, but they couldn’t move it,” he said.

Driver Rob Brown speaking to 7 Tasmania. Image / 7 Tasmania

“When the boys said ‘get out, get out’ … that’s what I done.”

He jumped from the stuck ute moments before the train ploughed into it.

The ute was pushed along the track for several metres. Image / Supplied

“At the end of the day if it wasn’t for them council blokes, I could’ve been still in it. I mightn’t have been here now,” he said.

Tasmania Police say investigations into the incident are continuing.

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TasRail CEO Steven Dietrich acknowledged the traumatic experience for the train operators.

“As they’ve approached that stranded vehicle on the track, they’re not really sure if there’s people still inside the vehicle,” he said.

“[It was] a very distressing situation for them … Train’s cannot stop. Train’s cannot swerve. They cannot go left or right.”

The incident marks the second involving a vehicle and a level crossing in recent weeks, following a collision between a truck and a train west of Launceston in late April.

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