Near-fatal train vs car footage released

Footage showing the moment a mother drove a car carrying her three daughters into the path of a train, almost killing two of them, has been released.

Video of the incident, which came out this week as the mother appeared in Newcastle District Court to face charges related to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, shows the incident from June 2016 in all its painstaking detail.

The footage, shot from inside the train's driver's cab shows the train nearing an intersection with a road when the woman's car comes into frame on the left-hand side. It's clear she hasn't seen the train is on track to collide with her vehicle, a fact that is only brought to her attention when the train driver toots his horn at her.

The station wagon is then seen screeching to a halt - but it's too late, and the bumper still hangs well over the tracks. The train then makes contact, causing the car to roll down a gully.

Two of the women's daughters suffered critical injuries, with one requiring revival by CPR, and were only saved at the scene thanks to the efforts of a police officer.

The mother pleaded guilty to her offences in court on Friday, and was sentenced to 30 to 36 months in prison - but suspended the sentence to allow her to care for her daughters, with one requiring continual care after suffering a brain injury in the accident.

Judge Ellis said jailing the woman would bring an unintended punishment to her daughters.

"There are some cases that call for mercy. [The children are] victims of this offence, to send their mother into jail at this moment will make them victims of this sentence," he said.

"If I take this lady away, what happens to these children? They go into state care."

The mother has been suspended from driving for five years.