CRASH VICTIM: Bull rider Harry Hoffman needed 18 stitches to close a face wound.
CRASH VICTIM: Bull rider Harry Hoffman needed 18 stitches to close a face wound. Allan Reinikka Rokharry

'Teens couldn't see train coming'

THE mother of a 16-year-old bull rider who was injured in a collision between a utility and the Tilt Train in Rockhampton on Thursday wants major safety upgrades to rail crossings in the city centre.

Angela Hoffman's son Harry, a junior bull rider, was a passenger in the utility when it collided with the train at 2.10am on Thursday.

She said her son needed 18 stitches to his face after the collision.

Harry and 17-year-old driver Mitchell Thompson were admitted to Rockhampton Hospital after the collision.

Angela said Mitchell was expected to undergo reconstructive surgery last night, after his left arm was broken in the collision.

She said the boys had gone to bull-riding practice at the Great Western Hotel, then went fishing and were returning home when the accident happened.

Angela said: "They had just driven by a big fight down the street, and were driving along with no music on.

"They stopped at the intersection and they didn't see the train or hear any horns or anything, so they pulled out and then 'bang'.

"Harry said they only saw the train two seconds before it hit them."

Angela said with an election year in progress, candidates should promise to improve safety at all level crossings in Rockhampton.

She said: "We need more lights at every road that intersects with Denison St where the railway is, especially at that corner.

"I think they should definitely also put some flashing lights on the sides of the rail cars and carriages."



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