Suspected drink driver 'leaves car in path of 140km/h passenger train'

·Associate News Editor
·2-min read

A passenger train en route to Sydney has had a close call after a car was left abandoned on the tracks.

NSW Police say the vehicle was left by an unlicensed 23-year-old driver from Vanuatu on Saturday night.

Police allege he took the Hyundai Tucson, owned by his employer, after consuming "a large amount of intoxicating liquor", heading off-road before clearing the tracks in Merungle Hill, northwest of Wagga Wagga.

He then allegedly reversed the vehicle onto the tracks before leaving the site and heading home.

The train managed to stop tens of metres from the abandoned vehicle. Source: Traffic and Highway Patrol Command - NSW Police
The train managed to stop tens of metres from the abandoned vehicle. Source: Traffic and Highway Patrol Command - NSW Police

Hours later a passenger train from Griffith approached at 8.20am on Sunday morning, with the driver slamming on the brakes and managing to bring the train to a halt, managing to avoid striking the vehicle.

Police say the stretch of train track has a speed limit of 140km/h.

Thankfully none of the passengers onboard the train or the driver were injured.

The driver of the Hyundai was located by officers, and according to police, admitted to leaving the car on the tracks.

He has since been charged with taking and driving a vehicle without the consent of the owner, driving without a licence, negligent driving and causing obstruction to a railway locomotive.

He is due to face Leeton Local Court at a later date.

As a result of the incident the visa status of the man is now under review, police said.

Earlier this month, another regional driver was slapped with a $469 fine for a rarely-seen offence when he was caught towing a vehicle that was also towing a trailer.

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