A POSTMAN on his morning run had a lucky escape today when his delivery van was struck by struck by a train at a level crossing.
John Canning, a married man with children, is recovering at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, from what were described as ‘non life threatening injuries’ .
Around 9.30 a.m. the An Post vehicle driven by Mr. Canning, who is in his 40s. was dragged along the line for a short distance after being struck by the Ballina to Manulla Junction passenger feeder train.
The Volkswagen Caddy vehicle, which was described locally as a write off following the incident at Currane level crossing, near Ballvyary. then tumbled from the tracks into a field.
The train, which had six passengers in its two carriages, came to a standstill just north of the railway bridge on the N5 Dublin to Westport road.
Neither the train driver or any of the passengers were injured.
Local people rushed to give Mr. Canning assistance at the scene before they were joined by medical personnel from the emergency services.
According to a statement released later by Iarnrod Eireann the van was on the line when struck at at the user-operated level crossing which is approximately two miles from Ballyvary.
Local man Michael McHale, whose house overlooks the accident scene, the postal van was ‘thrown to one side by the passing train’.
The train passengers involved were transferred by road to Manulla Junction to connect with the Westport to Dublin train. The Ballina to Manulla Junction line remained closed up to last night as The Railway Safety Commission and Iarnrod Eireann’s Rail Accident Investigation Unit began investigations.