Car stuck on tracks shunted 40m by freight train

The wreck of the Holden Commodore that was wiped out by a freight train on Saturday night.
The wreck of the Holden Commodore that was wiped out by a freight train on Saturday night. Craig Warhurst

A MARYBOROUGH man's stop for a call of nature on Saturday night turned to disaster when his car was hit by a fully laden freight train.

The impact of the crash lifted the Commodore station wagon 4m into the air and shunted it 40m down the road, leaving it a twisted ball of metal.

Luckily the south-bound freight train stayed on the rails and the driver stopped it about a kilometre down the track to assess the damage.

The driver of the car, Hayden Cockburn, was making his way home along the Bruce Hwy after visiting his son on the Gold Coast.

He decided to pull into Hermans Rd, a small dead-end road just off the highway south of Gunalda, to make a comfort stop about 7.45pm.

Mr Cockburn said as he turned off he drove over a railway crossing, parked and relieved himself in the bush.

The trouble started when Mr Cockburn got back into the car.

When he reversed the vehicle to turn it around and restart his journey home the back wheels of the Commodore got hung up on the railway lines.

"I'd gone too far and I got stuck on track," Mr Cockburn said.

He spent 20 minutes trying to free his car from the railway lines, putting down pieces of concrete and rock under the back wheels to try to give the car traction.

"I tried lifting and pulling it ...I didn't have a hope," Mr Cockburn said.

The frustration of not being able to release his car from the tracks soon turned to horror as the lights on the railway crossing started flashing and the boom gates started to lower.

There was a train bearing down on his three-week-old vehicle.

"I got out there, stood on the track and tried to wave him down," Mr Cockburn said.

"But I had no hope."

Realising he couldn't stop the train Mr Cockburn ran to safety.

"I can't describe the noise on impact but to say it was loud is an understatement," he said.

He said the car launched into the air taking out the western boom gate before sailing over a nearby sign post and landing on the road about 40m away.

"It was wild, mate," Mr Cockburn said.

When Gympie Fire and Rescue officers arrived at the scene fuel covered the road to the wrecked car. The firefighters damped down the crash scene before ambulance officers and other fire crews went to check on the train and its driver.

The Pacific National train sustained minor damage while the drivers were shocked by the crash but not hurt.

Queensland Rail's Gympie line was temporarily closed while the drivers were assessed by paramedics, and police and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland started investigating the crash.

The line has since reopened and investigations are continuing.

Gympie Times

Topics:  car gunalda

VIDEO: Police remove suspicious package found at office

Emergency crews at Llew O'Brien's officer after a suspicious package was found.

Offices were evacuated after the package was found.

Brothers 3 sizzle on bar stage at Widgee

STAR POWER: Brothers 3, ready to hit the Widgee stage last Saturday night.

All the latest news from Widgee including the Brothers 3 concert.

Dawn Rd upgrade under way

UPGRADE: A section of Dawn Rd is being widened this week.

Works to Dawn Rd are underway to upgrade a single lane section.

Local Partners

Brothers 3 sizzle on bar stage at Widgee

Did you catch Eagle Mountain and Brothers 3 last weekend at Widgee? Chances are you are in our photo gallery!

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

What's on in Gympie this weekend

INTERGALACTIC: Lissa and Nee Nee will be providing plenty of family entertainment this Saturday

There's plenty of fun for young and old in Gympie this weekend.

Racer seeks Bright future in fight against breast cancer

Sheree Bright takes a corner on Sheeza Instant Gem.

Gympie's Sheree Bright will be racing to raise funds for cancer.

The Bachelorette fans rally around devastated Matty J

The Bachelorette runner-up Matty Johnson.

CALLS for reality dating show's runner-up to be the next Bachelor.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available