A man crashed through a road closure at a level crossing, narrowly missing several members of staff working on railway lines, a court heard.
Jamie Lane, aged 27, of Tallis Lane, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failure to stop at the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident following a hearing at Aylesbury Crown Court on Monday September 3.
He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for dangerous driving, suspended for 24 months, disqualified from driving for two years with a requirement to take an extended re-test, given 150 hours’ unpaid voluntary work, and fined £500 with a £140 victims’ surcharge.
He was also sentenced to two months’ imprisonment concurrent, also suspended for 24 months, for both the fail to stop and fail to report offences.
The court heard Lane left a local nightclub at around 6.10am on Sunday, February 11, and three minutes later crashed through a road closure in Brickhill Street, Bow Brickhill.
The road closure was in place to protect Network Rail staff working on the lines at the Bow Brickhill level crossing.
After crashing through the road closure, Lane continued to drive towards the rail maintenance works crashing through materials and narrowly missing several members of staff who managed to jump clear.
Lane then continued over the lines before crashing into a lamp post on the other side of the tracks. He then fled the scene of the collision.
An extensive investigation to both locate Lane and investigate the collision was led by the Joint Operations Unit for Roads Policing based at Milton Keynes.
This was assisted by British Transport Police officers, who obtained witness accounts from Network Rail staff.
Lane was subsequently charged with dangerous driving, and both failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.
Senior investigation officer, Sergeant Daniel Collett from the Joint Operation Roads Policing Unit, based at Milton Keynes, said: “This was an incident where someone could have been killed or seriously injured by the driving of Lane.
“The work to track down Lane and the quality of the investigation meant that Lane has been brought to justice and the body of evidence gathered led to his guilty plea.
“I would like to thank both British Transport Police and Network Rail for their support in bringing Lane to justice and I hope this judgement serves as a reminder to those involved in collisions that leaving the scene is an offence that we will always investigate along with the standard of driving displayed.
“Every effort will be made to prosecute those who drive in a manner that presents a high risk of injury or death to the public.”
PC David Chivers, from British Transport Police, added: “Deliberate misuse of level crossings is extremely dangerous. Every time someone walks or drives on the tracks once the barrier sequence has begun, they are risking their life and the lives of other rail users.
“Instead of calling the emergency services, or checking to see whether anyone had been injured, Lane chose to flee the scene.
“Drivers who willingly flout the law and place themselves and others in danger should be in no doubt that when caught doing so, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I would urge people to heed the warning served by this incident and pay level crossings the respect they deserve. Taking a chance at a crossing, even one you think isn’t in use, can have dire consequences. Stop, think and be sensible, because one moment of impatience could result in lives being destroyed.”