A Hampshire Fixer is urging others not to ignore the warning signals at level crossings, after a split-second error in judgement nearly cost him his life.
His story was shown on ITV News Meridian (W) on Thursday 6th March.
Twenty-year-old Ian Carter from Cosham needed four hours of facial surgery and thirty-six stitches after trying to rush through a crossing on his bike and colliding with one of the barriers.
His injuries were so extensive, he could only manage to eat yoghurt through a straw for some time after leaving hospital.
‘I saw the barriers come down but thought I’d be able to make it across,’ explains Ian.
‘I made it through the first barrier, but the barrier on the opposite side of the road – I ended up colliding with the bottom part.
‘My face was pumping blood out and I couldn’t breathe through my mouth or nose.
‘Now I’m left with permanent scarring and the memory of it all. I feel stupid.’
In the broadcast piece, Ian visits Warblington School in Havant, which is near a level crossing, to warn pupils of the hazards and dangers of flouting the rules.
‘It’s not just the injuries,’ he adds.
‘What I did was illegal and now I’m eligible to be fined a hefty sum.
'It’s ironic because I’ve wanted to be a train driver since I was a child. I’ve near enough dashed every hope I have of achieving that dream.’
Network Rail Education Officer, Lindsay Banks, also features in the story, showing her support for the Fixer's campaign:
‘Ian’s a great person to work with because he’s young and young people can relate to him too. It’s the fact that they can share a story with somebody who’s actually been there. They can share his experiences and ask him questions. It really drives that message home.’
For his Fixers project, Ian hopes to create a film to show how important it is to use level crossings safely.
‘If the film could be shown in schools, I think I can happily say I’ve done something to change a negative in to a big positive.
‘That’s the ideal goal.’