Friday 21 February 2020

Man in hospital after car driven by 17-year-old collides with train

A level crossing. Photo: Silver Spoon via Wikimedia Commons

The driver of a car that collided with a train on a level crossing near Groningen was a 17-year-old girl driving under supervision, police have said.

The driver escaped injury in the incident, which happened at Hoendiep at around 10am on Monday. Her 47-year-old male passenger was seriously injured and had to be cut free by firefighters before being taken to hospital.

Since March this year it has been legal for 17-year-olds to drive on the roads if they are accompanied by a qualified driver, who must be over 27 and have held a driving licence for five years. Learner drivers can start lessons at the age of 16 and a half.

A tweet by Groningen police said: ‘The driver was startled by the railway crossing’s alarms and stalled the engine. She was unable to drive away in time. The train driver was unable to prevent a collision and struck the vehicle on the passenger side.’

Local train operator Arriva said services on the line from Groningen to Eemshaven and Delfzijl were running again after the line was cleared shortly after noon.

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