Article extract >> SOURCE : SCOTSMAN

A police helicopter pilot swooped over a railway line in a desperate bid to avert a level crossing disaster.

The quick-thinking helicopter crew waved their arms as a warning to the train driver about a suspect sports car trapped on the crossing ahead.

The engine was brought to a stop around 100m short of the car, whose driver was still caught in the wreckage.

The red Jaguar crashed through barriers on to the railway track as the driver tried to evade officers as he sped through Hull at about 6pm yesterday.

As officers from Humberside Police command centre contacted Railtrack to alert staff about the blockage, the pilot Dave Williams flew towards the oncoming train, which was heading for Paragon station.

A force spokesman said: “The pilot flew at the lowest safe safe height, in the line of sight of the train driver.

“They used the sirens fitted to the aircraft and one of the observers opened the door and signalled a warning with his arms.

“The train subsequently came to a halt approximately 100m away from the blockage.

“A male juvenile received head injuries as a result of the incident and he was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary.”

One person was in custody, the spokesman added.

Police were called after the suspect car was spotted without number plates in the Hessle area of the city.

The spokesman said while officers followed at a safe distance, the Jaguar sped through residential streets.

Meanwhile, it was tracked by the crew of helicopter Hotel Oscar 99.

It narrowly missed a number of pedestrians and collided with parked cars.

Police tried to use a “stinger” device to stop the Jaguar, but it crashed through barriers at the Warren Street crossing in the city centre.

Mr Williams and his two observers Pcs Andy Groom and Les Bennett were praised for their actions.

The spokesman added: “The actions of Hotel Oscar 99 were of significant assistance in preventing a serious incident occurring.”

A spokeswoman for train operator Arriva said the driver brought his locomotive to a “controlled standstill” at a red signal and could not have struck the wreckage.

She said that the 1802 service from Beverley to Hull was automatically halted despite the warning from the police aircraft.

She said: “The train came to a controlled standstill because of a red signal and it could not have progressed any further down the line.

“There was a 70-minute delay for passengers and we have apologised to them for circumstances which were beyond our control.”

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Now that's what i'm talking about and well done to the Humberside police and the helicopter pilot David Williams.

A helicopter flying alongside a train whilst at speed and hailing the driver to make it stop in time. That is material worthy of Hollywood or some kind of movie.

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