A tragic accident at a “safe crossing”
At first the families were told that the crossing was safe as long as it was used correctly and indeed the warning lights and audible alarms were working at the time. But the girls appear to have waited while their Cambridge bound train pulled into the platform and as soon as it cleared the crossing, when the alarms would have ceased had they been solely for the train they intended to cross, they stepped out into the path of a Stansted bound train travelling at 70mph. Both Olivia and Charlie were killed. Tina and the other parents were led to believe that this was just a tragic accident; that the girls misuse of the crossing had resulted in their deaths. It was easy to see how it could have happened but it was difficult to believe that their momentary error of judgement was actually a fatal error of judgement.
A tragic accident that could have been avoided
The RSSB (Rail Safety Standards Board) were the first to publish their findings, this body wholly funded by the rail industry, exposed errors in the risk assessment that had been undertaken in April 2005, and provided information about another accident that has occurred at Elsenham station level crossing where a lady was struck and killed in 1989 in almost identical circumstances. British Rail has been instructed to make changes at the crossing but crucially, one change was not completed. The second train coming alarm, that might have warned Olivia and Charlie, was never implemented.
A tragedy that should never have been able to happen
“Inadequate risk management practices” but no action taken against Network Rail
A civil action to prove that Network Rail were negligent
Disappointment at not getting our day in Court and gaining media attention to get changes made
A missing risk assessment and more media attention than we could ever have hoped for
Questions at Parliamentary Select Committees for Transport and Public Accounts
ORR re-opens the investigation
Non-disclosure of evidence
The most damning evidence – not a tragic accident at all but one that was predicted in writing 4 years before Olivia and Charlie were killed