A disabled woman has thanked her rescuers after she got trapped under barriers at Hampden Park Level Crossing in February.
Three brave tree surgeons, Andrew Catt, his brother Stephen and son Michael pulled Linda Lockwood and her companion to safety when the barriers apparently closed whilst they were still on the tracks.
We are very grateful indeed for the intervention of the Catt family and we are supporting Linda as she recovers from the distress caused by this incident.Jerry Ratcliff
The quick-thinking tree surgeons were waiting at the crossing and when they saw what was happening, jumped out of their truck and intervened.
The incident occurred just days after the signal box was de-manned and demolished at the busy level crossing which is now controlled from Three Bridges.
Linda, who uses a wheelchair, lives at Shinewater Court in Milfoil Drive, a purpose built centre providing support for disabled people run by national charity The Disabilities Trust.
Linda is extremely distressed by the incident and has thanked the men for their bravery by presenting them with a hand-made Oscar at a private ceremony hosted at Shinewater Court.
Andrew said, “It is fantastic to see Linda again, we feel quite overwhelmed by her lovely thank you. I am just so glad we were there to help and Linda is safe and well.”
Stephen added, “It all happened so quickly, we didn’t have time to think.
“We saw the barriers were coming down and realised that Linda and her friend were not going to make it across – I hate to think what could have happened.”
Linda, who is currently being supported by Shinewater staff as she recovers from the incident said, “Thank you – I didn’t know what to do – thank you.”
Jerry Ratcliff, Director of the Trust’s Disability Lifestyles division which runs Shinewater Court, said, “We are very grateful indeed for the intervention of the Catt family and we are supporting Linda as she recovers from the distress caused by this incident. However we have been informed that this incident occurred shortly after Hampden Park Level Crossing became unmanned and automated. We are now particularly concerned for Trust service users and other disabled people who may be at risk from the new arrangements.
“We are in discussions with Network Rail and hope for a quick resolution and the reassurance that all our service users can use the Hampden Park Level Crossing safely.”
Network Rail is investigating the incident.