'High on the idiot ladder': Driver lambasted after petrifying near-miss with train in Napier

A Napier woman has a stern message for the driver her son filmed escaping a petrifying near-miss with a train: "What were you thinking?"

Eleven-year-old Joshua was out trainspotting with his grandfather on Friday afternoon when the lights and bells went off.

As the excited young boy began to film the train's arrival, it became clear that something was wrong.

While most cars were stopped, the video shows a ute pull out directly onto the train tracks and pause - as the train raced toward it.

Despite the train's urgent blaring of the horn, footage shows the ute seeming unhurried, before eventually turning onto the main road.

It was just in the nick of time.

"It was really scary, I was horrified," Joshua's mother, Jolene, told Newshub.

She said her son adores trains and already knows how to behave around them - including what to do in an emergency - but this close call prompted another safety lesson.

The train narrowly avoided hitting the car.
There could have been a disaster. Photo credit: Supplied

"He was terrified because there were kids in the back [of the ute]. What could have happened and how many people could have been impacted?" Jolene said.

"What was so important that you ignored a great big yellow train coming towards you? Was it worth it?"

Jolene shared the video on a local Facebook group where it quickly gathered plenty of strong comments.

"That driver deserves a hiding for putting his children's lives at risk," one person wrote, while another added: "This is high on the idiot ladder for sure!"

Jolene said the boy's grandfather reported the incident to police and KiwiRail.

"Someone said something about they'd probably send [the driver] a letter about being a naughty driver... Which seems a bit blasé."

Henare Clarke, acting chief operations officer at KiwiRail, confirmed to Newshub an incident was reported and they'll be speaking to the train's driver to find out exactly what happened.

"If a vehicle driver is found to have placed themselves, the public, or our people in danger then a number of actions can be taken including involving the police," he said.

"Safety is always KiwiRail's priority and it is important, particularly at holiday times, that motorists and pedestrians remember that trains are running. Our message is to always expect trains from either direction."

Police have also been contacted for comment.


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