A CAR which was hit by a train killing a four-year-old girl had been driven through a barrier and on to the tracks, a report has found.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said records for Beech Hill level crossing at Misson Springs, near Doncaster, where Emma Lifsey suffered fatal injuries, showed that barriers had been lowered as the car approached.
The funeral of Emma, of Haxey, took place on Tuesday following the tragedy on December 4.
Her parents Mark, 40 and Zoe, 38, led the mourners at the service at St Nicholas Church, Haxey.
They had earlier described their daughter, who leaves an 11-year-old brother, Jack, as ‘much-loved’ and who ‘meant the world to us’.
An RAIB study released ahead of its investigation said: “The level crossing was fitted with a data logger that showed that the crossing was operating normally at the time.
“The car was travelling in the north to south direction over the crossing when it drove through a barrier and into the path of the approaching train.”
Emma was a passenger in a black Volvo car, driven by a 67-year-old woman who suffered neck injuries when the vehicle was hit by the East Midlands Trains service.
The train was travelling at 60mph at the time of the crash.
The youngster was airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital following the accident with the 11.54am Lincoln to Doncaster service but died a day later.
The driver, who has not been named, was allowed home from hospital last week.
The RAIB said its investigation intended to identify the sequence of events leading up to the crash, assess the likely impact of glare from the sun on the actions of the car driver and consider the conspicuousness of equipment such as barriers and lights.
In 2011, a report by Network Rail suggested improvements needed to be made, including replacing the half barriers with full crossing gates.
But the plan, which was due to be implemented by April 2013, was later shelved.
The Nottinghamshire coroner has opened and adjourned an inquest into Emma’s death.