A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl who was seriously injured when the car she was in collided with a train yesterday has died in hospital.
Police said Emma Lifsey, who was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital following the collision, was pronounced dead in the early hours.
Emma's parents, Mark and Zoe Lifsey, aged 40 and 38 and from Haxey, Lincs, said: "Emma meant the world to us. She was our much-loved daughter and a baby sister to her 11-year-old brother Jack.
"We are still trying to come to terms with the terrible incident on Tuesday afternoon and there are no words that can properly express how utterly distraught we are.
"We would like to thank everyone for the many messages of sympathy and support we have received.
"As you can appreciate, this tragic incident has left us shocked and devastated and we would ask that we can be left to grieve in private at this acutely difficult and sad time for us."
The collision happened at Beech Hill crossing, Springs Road, Misson Springs, Nottinghamshire, yesterday.
The driver, a 67-year-old woman, was taken to hospital in nearby Doncaster with neck injuries and bruising.
She remains in hospital in a stable condition.
A police spokesman said: "The police investigation into the incident is ongoing and remains very much in the early stages.
"Officers are working hard to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident, including how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at the time.
"This will include speaking to any witnesses to the incident, while specialist officers will also look at evidence from the scene and the car in question, a black Volvo which has now been recovered.
"The train, a Lincoln to Doncaster service, was damaged but remained upright and on the tracks. There have been no reports of injuries to passengers or staff on board."
The spokesman said the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) have been notified.
The ORR confirmed it has begun working with police to investigate the crash.
The scene of the collision is a crossing about two miles east of the nearest village of Blaxton, on a small country lane which connects the B1396 to the village of Misson.
Speaking at the scene yesterday, Inspector Andy Selby said he could not comment on whether the barriers and lights were working correctly.
East Midlands Trains, which runs the Lincoln to Doncaster service, offered its condolences to Emma's family and said it is working closely with the police and Network Rail to support the investigation.
David Horne, the company's managing director, said: "Our thoughts are with the parents of Emma Lifsey and their loved ones at this very difficult time.
"We will be doing everything possible in the days ahead to assist the investigation into identifying the cause of this tragic incident.
"Work is continuing this morning to move the train from the incident site to allow normal services to start running again."
Network Rail's route managing director, Phil Verster, said: "At this sad time, Network Rail's thoughts are with the family of Emma Lifsey, who tragically died after an incident at a level crossing in Nottinghamshire.
"We are all trying to understand what happened and are working closely with the investigating authorities to find the answers."