Train overturns car and kills driver in east Taiwan

Investigators want to know why the driver did not leave his car

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A driver died after a Taroko Express train hit his car at a crossing in Hualien.

A driver died after a Taroko Express train hit his car at a crossing in Hualien. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taroko Express train smashed into a car stalled on the tracks between Hualien City and Ji’an Friday (September 6) afternoon, killing the driver.

Investigators were focusing their probe on why the car had been immobile on the train tracks for 40 seconds, the Central News Agency reported.

According to camera footage, the driver, a 54-year-old man named Ho (何), stopped his car on the tracks, but when the barriers went down, he still did not try and leave the vehicle to escape the oncoming train.

The Taroko Express smashed into the small car, which ended upside down by the side of the track, with the train only coming to a halt past the crossing.

Ho did not show any signs of life, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, CNA reported.

Officials said that when a driver was unable to remove a car from the tracks, he should run away and press an emergency button, and only try to drive the car away if there was still time.

The accident happened at around 2 p.m., and train traffic on the line did not resume until 3:27 p.m., impacting seven trains carrying a total of 1,865 passengers, rail officials said.