A Peterborough signalman, Dharmesh Patel (right), has been praised by a judge for his prompt actions which saved a man’s life and averted a serious train crash.
Dharmesh Patel noticed on CCTV that a van had dodged under a descending level crossing barrier. The van was unable to get out the other side as the barriers by now were down and he was trapped in the middle. Mr Patel lifted the barriers. The van accelerated away seconds before a train passed over the level crossing.
Mr Patel collected a framed certificate and a cheque for an undisclosed amount at a ceremony at Luton Crown Court. Judge Richard Foster said the driver would have undoubtedly been killed in the incident in Sandy, Bedfordshire.
Dharmesh Patel was managing controls for junctions and level crossings from a Network Rail control centre in Peterborough on 3 October 2011.
Says Judge Foster, ‘Mr. Patel was watching many, many CCTV screens at the time and because of his diligence in his job, he saw the predicament. Without his actions the driver would have undoubtedly been killed and there is the chance that the train would have derailed causing many casualties. There is not enough praise given to people when they do their job to a very high standard.’