Octogenarian struck by railway barriers

Level crossing accident. Sheila Seldon (81), who was struck  by a level crossing barrier as it went down, last Tuesday in Shoreham. 'Shoreham''Picture: Liz Pearce'LP1500740 SUS-150330-183256008
Level crossing accident. Sheila Seldon (81), who was struck by a level crossing barrier as it went down, last Tuesday in Shoreham. 'Shoreham''Picture: Liz Pearce'LP1500740 SUS-150330-183256008
  • 80-year-old was knocked to the ground by level crossing barriers
  • It took three people to free her from the barriers
  • Network Rail reviewed CCTV footage

AN 80-year-old woman said she was ‘absolutely terrified’ to approach a level crossing in Shoreham after she was struck by a barrier last week.

On her way to visit a friend last Tuesday, around 12.50pm, Sheila Seldon walked along the level crossing in Brunswick Road, Shoreham when the barriers dropped onto her walking aid trolley and caught her hand.

I’m absolutely terrified

Sheila Seldon

Sheila, of Surry Street, said: “I was waiting at the gates. They went up and I moved, and ‘bang’ they came down again.

“It squashed me down and people had to run around to get the gate off me. It took three people to get me up on my feet again.”

Sheila said she was ‘extremely lucky’ to get away with just a lump and bruise on her left hand.

“I now have a very painful hand. I won’t go through that again. I’m absolutely terrified,” she said.

Sheila said the barriers were up for 30 seconds at the very most.

“A woman with a buggy had to run to clear the gates,” she said.

A spokesperson for Network Rail, which manages the level crossing by Shoreham station, said the incident showed how important it was to stay safe when walking across.

He said: “Network Rail took action as soon as we heard about this incident.

“We have since reviewed CCTV from the crossing, contacted the lady concerned and tested all the level crossing equipment, including the audible alarms, to make sure everything was working correctly.

“In this instance, the crossing sequence was well underway, with lights and audible alarms sounding and barriers falling, when the lady came into contact with a lowering barrier.

“The sequence was stopped immediately by the signaller, who also raised the barrier.

“It goes to show how important it is to stay safe at level crossings, whatever age you are, and we hope the lady concerned is recovering well.”

The spokesperson said Network Rail was aware of the impact the crossing down time has on Shoreham residents and will do everything it can to keep that to a minimum, but not at the expense of people’s safety.