Shocking CCTV shows sparks flying as woman drunkenly drives on to rail line

Photo: CCTV issued by the British Transport Police of the moment drunk driver Tayler Barnham, 29, drove onto a level crossing and then onto the tracks at a rail crossing near Faversham in Kent in May last year. Photo: PA Media

Shocking footage shows a woman dicing with death as she drunkenly drives her car onto a railway line, causing a massive plume of sparks as she hits the live rail.

Tayler Barnham, 29, can be seen driving onto a level crossing and then driving left onto the tracks.

The dramatic moments – captured on CCTV – could have turned fatal had the driver of an approaching passenger train not spotted the Ford Fiesta in time and applied emergency brakes.

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The incident has led to a stark warning from police that “the railway isn’t a playground”.

Barnham, from Rochester in Kent, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for two years, at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention and drink-driving at an earlier hearing, British Transport Police said.

She was disqualified from driving for two years and is required to be on a curfew between 7 pm and 7 am for three months.

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The near-miss happened at a rail crossing near Faversham in Kent in May last year.

Photo: PA Media

In CCTV footage released after the sentencing, the Ford Fiesta can be seen turning to the left on to the tracks, causing a huge electrical discharge as it hits the live rail before coming to an abrupt stop.

Barnham was arrested and a breath sample taken in police custody found she was more than three times over the drink driving limit.

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After the car was extracted from the railway line, officers located an empty beer can in its footwell, police said.

Detective Constable Mike Ganly said: “Barnham’s impetuous decision that evening could have resulted in tragic consequences.

“Not only did she put herself in grave danger, she caused significant risk to the safety of the passengers on the approaching train.

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“I hope the footage of her ill-judged actions and her prosecution serves as a stark warning to anyone who may consider driving or stepping onto the tracks.

“The railway isn’t a playground – it has many hidden dangers. Not only do you run the risk of being struck by an oncoming train, but the electrified third rail carries 750 volts – enough to kill you.”

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Shannon Butcher