THIS is the horrifying moment a van driver put his and train passengers' lives in danger when he crashed through a level crossing.
The impatient motorist could not be bothered to wait, putting his foot down as a train was approaching Acton Central Station.
The British Transport Police have released these images which show one of the barriers being torn off as it gets caught on the van's roof rack in Churchfield Road.
It deposited the barrier across the rails as it sped away leaving a trail of destruction which took hours to repair.
PC Ian Russell, the investigating officer for the BTP, said: “Luckily, the train was due to stop at Acton Central and was travelling slowly enough to allow it to stop before striking the broken barrier.
“On this occasion the driver was very lucky to get away with this extremely dangerous attempt at jumping the level crossing and I am urging anyone who witnessed the incident to contact police.
“Safety at level crossings is a top priority for us; incredibly some people are still putting their lives on the line by ignoring warning sirens and trying to dash through the crossing.
“Level crossings are designed to keep people safe. And, when used correctly, that is exactly what they do.”
A Network Rail spokesman said the scene was closed for more than two hours causing long delays to motorists and train passengers alike.
He added: “We have to compensate the train operators for these sorts of incidents and, combined with repairing the damage, an incident like this can cost tens of thousands of pounds. This is money which could have gone on improving the rail network.
“The driver didn't know where the train was, he was taking a massive risk with his life and of the lives of those around him.”
The incident happened at about 2pm on Monday May 9.
Anyone with information should call the BTP on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference B9/LNA or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.