The scene of the crash
The scene of the crash Craig Warhurst

Man fined $800 after car was smashed by train

A MARYBOROUGH man whose car was smashed by a freight train after he stopped to relieve himself on the side of the Bruce Hwy has been fined $800.

Hayden Vincent Benatar Cockburn, 24, on Wednesday pleaded guilty in the Maryborough Magistrates Court to driving without due care and attention.

Prosecutor Nicole Kunkel told the court that at 6.30pm on April 13 Cockburn was returning home to Maryborough when he decided to stop for a toilet break and turned into Hermans Rd at Gunalda.

He crossed a set of "clearly marked" railway lines and parked his car on the side of the road.

She said when he returned to his car, he reversed directly back onto the railway lines, causing his back tyres to become lodged in the stones alongside the track.

"He tried to free the car for 15 to 20 minutes," she said.

Cockburn's frustration at not being able to move his car soon turned into horror when he heard a train approaching and saw the boom gates start to lower.

"The freight train collided with the rear of the vehicle, throwing it 50 metres," Snr Const Kunkel said.

"The (train) driver activated the emergency stop. No one was injured, he was the only person onboard."

Snr Const Kunkel said a boom gate was taken out by the car and all rail traffic along the line had to be stopped - but there was no restitution sought by Queensland Rail.

"The car was unrepairable."

Cockburn asked Magistrate Annette Hennessy to spare him his licence as he drove 800km to and from work each week.

She agreed that she would not disqualify him due to his limited traffic history and the fact that the incident was unintended.


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