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Truck Driver Charged Following Freight Train Collision Near Katherine

Northern Territory Police have formally charged a 34-year-old truck driver in connection with a dramatic crash involving a freight train and a truck near the town of Katherine last year.

The collision left four people injured and resulted in significant damage to the train line, causing disruptions along the crucial freight route.

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According to the police investigation, the truck driver, whose identity is being withheld, was allegedly distracted by his mobile phone in the moments leading up to the collision on June 14, 2023. 

The driver purportedly failed to observe pre-warning lights, the level crossing, and boom gates as he approached the railway crossing.

“Faced with insufficient room to bring the truck to a controlled stop, the driver attempted to accelerate across the tracks, resulting in a collision with a train,” Northern Territory Police said.

The aftermath of the crash prompted a large-scale response from emergency services, and aerial footage captured the extensive damage caused at the crash site/

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The truck driver now faces multiple charges, including recklessly endangering life, reckless damage to property, driving dangerously, careless driving, driving using a handheld mobile device, and entering a level crossing when warning lights were active.

The freight train, en route from Adelaide to Darwin, was severely damaged and derailed during the collision. 

NT Police Detective Sergeant Jeremy Brunton, commenting on the charges, emphasised the importance of adhering to road signs and signals, especially at level crossings. 

“The consequences of disregarding safety measures can be severe, as witnessed in this incident,” Sergeant Brunton said.

The accused truck driver has been ordered to appear in Katherine Local Court on February 19, where the charges will be formally addressed.

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