Transport police have launched a manhunt for a lorry driver who reversed into a car before smashing through barriers after he became stuck on a level crossing.
The driver had attempted to jump the barriers, close to Bow Brickhill station, as they were lowering, but was caught on the railway line.
British Transport Police said the driver was lucky to escape unhurt after the incident, which took place on Tuesday, April 16.
Today, investigators released CCTV images of the incident, which took place at around 10.10am, in a bid to identify the dirver.
PC Simon Cherrington, investigating, said: “A large white lorry approached the crossing on Brickhill Street, as the barriers were lowering.
“As the lorry became stuck between both barriers on the line, the driver reversed, striking a smaller vehicle behind it.
“The lorry then continued forward, driving straight through the barrier, snapping it off. One of the other barriers was also severely broken.”
The road was closed for several hours while Network Rail engineers worked to fix the barriers.
Network Rail general manager, Simon Whitehorn, added: “Too often, incidents like this disrupt the journeys of rail and road users and mean Network Rail has to spend vital funds on repairing damaged crossing equipment rather than investing that money elsewhere.
“Level crossings are there to keep people safe and drivers need to be aware that if the lights are flashing at a level crossing, it means ‘stop’.”
PC Cherrington added: “On this occasion, the driver was lucky to get away unhurt with this extremely dangerous attempt at jumping the level crossing.
“Safety at level crossings is a top priority for BTP; incredibly some people are still putting their lives on the line by ignoring warning sirens and trying to accelerate to beat the barrier.
“Level crossings are designed to keep people safe, and, when used correctly, that is exactly what they do.
“I’d urge anyone who was at the crossing at the time, and witnessed the incident, to contact BTP.”
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, quoting background number B4/LNA of 22/04/2013.
Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.