Family's horror after dog struck by train

A grandmother has spoken of her family's horror and heartbreak after their dog was hit by a train.

Wednesday, 19th July 2017, 1:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:11 am
Fiona Pierce with her daughter Aimee, grandson Jake and their four dogs. Picture: Steve Robards

Fiona Pierce, 54, of Warelands, Burgess Hill, had been at Bedelands Nature Reserve with her daughter Aimee, 27, six-year-old grandson Jake, and their four dogs on Saturday, July 8.

She told the Middy one of their beloved pets was hit by a train at a level crossing.

She has raised concerns about safety at the site.

Network Rail insists the crossing is safe with stiles at both ends and warning signs near the railway.

Fiona said: “It was a gorgeous day and I thought, let’s take the dogs for a walk. Jake and the dogs were running ahead of us.

“The next moment was totally life-changing – two of the dogs had run over a railway line.

“Jake and the other two dogs stopped, watching in horror as Tyson was struck by a train.

“Aimee screamed blue murder. Tyson, who was hit, started having a fit.”

Fiona said the train driver stopped at the Bedelands Level Crossing, but she could not get over to the dogs until the driver back came to help her.

“I didn’t know what to do – I was in total panic and despair,” she said.

“Another train came thundering past. Covered in blood, I ran to get the car to get [Tyson] to the vets.”

The family was told the next 72 hours for Tyson was ‘critical’.

“If he was not a staff, any other dog would have died they said. It is a miracle.

“My nightmares won’t stop, with me thinking what if Jake hadn’t stopped and followed the two dogs.”

Fiona said she did not know the crossing was there.

“There is nothing stopping a child or animal going onto that crossing. For goodness sake, at least have a fence or gate.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “This must have been a very upsetting incident and anyone who owns a dog will know how distressing this will be for the family.

“Our operations manager checked the signs and fencing just after the incident and found them to be in good condition.

“However, we know this is no consolation for the family and we would always encourage families with dogs to keep them on their leads when near the railway.

“While we don’t as a rule put warning signs up further away from the railway – we do not own the path, or the land – in this instance, we will look this area again to see if anything else could be done.”

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