Learner driver killed after stalling on train tracks as instructor jumps clear
A teenage learner driver has died after her car stalled on a level crossing during a test and the instructor jumped out, leaving her to be hit by an oncoming train.
The 18-year-old, who police named only as Angelika, later died in hospital but her examiner escaped unhurt in the village of Zaskale in southern Poland
Eyewitnesses said the driving instructor did nothing to help the girl even after the crash as she lay dying in the wreckage of the car.
The horrific accident was captured in the background of CCTV security camera footage from a workplace close to the railway lines.
It shows the red Suzuki Baleno come to a halt on the unmanned level crossing and the examiner jump out just before the train smashes into the car.
The 62-year-old man, whose name has not been released, got out after Angelika stalled the engine in the middle of the crossing and could not get it going again.
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He was still walking away from the car when the train, between the towns of Nowy Targ and Zakopane, arrived and smashed into the vehicle.
“When we ran to the wreck, the girl was strapped in and the instructor stood nearby and did nothing,” eyewitness Rafal Kwak, 40, said.
“I wanted him to give me a first aid kit but he couldn’t find it. She was still breathing, but she was very wheezy, she was getting weaker. She was disappearing before our eyes.”
Another witness, 39-year-old Michal, said: “The girl had a big head wound, her blood was everywhere, we tried to stop it. I heard her heavy breathing, fading in front of us.”
Another onlooker, who declined to be named, said: “The examiner escaped at the last minute, the girl, unfortunately, didn’t. She tried to move but was half a metre away from surviving, she was already starting to move the car.”
He added that the train driver had been sounding his horn for several seconds: “Then I saw the train pushing the car along the tracks in front of me.”
Angelika suffered multiple injuries and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital in Nowy Targ where she died later that day. The train driver and his passengers were unhurt.
The video of the tragic accident was later shared on Facebook where online commentators were almost unanimous in condemning the driving instructor.
“The examiner is obliged to ensure safety during the exam. In my opinion, this is the examiner’s fault solely and exclusively! You can see the oncoming train here,” one post said.
“I don’t understand… he got out of the car and wanted to stop the train? Let him be responsible for what he did,” another said.
An investigation into the accident has been launched by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Nowy Targ.