Train driver, Napier accident survivor meet

Source: 1News

The number of train-related accidents at public crossings has more than doubled since the year before.

One young train accident survivor is using his near-death experience to raise awareness of safety at train tracks.

A year ago when aged 16, Ishaan Prasaad was biking to school when he crossed a Napier train track.

He was hit by a train, and subsequently spent months in hospital with multiple broken bones and a cracked skull.

Recently, he met one of the drivers involved.

Ishaan said the meeting helped him move on.

“Sometimes I wonder what happened that day, but I feel like I can release some of that stress now after meeting Jamie,” he said.

One of the drivers was KiwiRail shunt driver Jamie Kauika. He said every train incident has a huge affect on drivers involved.

“Just seeing him walk towards me today gave me butterflies,” he said.

"When the accident happened walking up to Ishaan was traumatic, I had to ring my wife as I was walking towards him all I could see was something was wrong and as I got closer to him, his legs weren’t in the right direction, I thought he was dead,” Kauika said.

This week's Rail Safety week has highlighted the rise in train collisions over the last year.

KiwiRail have recorded more than 300 train-related accidents across the country.

The number of collisions at public level crossings has more than doubled - from 13 in the year to June 2021 to 28 in the last year.

TrackSAFE NZ Foundation manager Megan Drayton said people need to change how they act at crossings.

"Our advice is keep those headphones out and stay focused on your surroundings, stay well back at public crossings," she said.