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Jake Chapman facing jail after car hit by train on level crossing near Faversham

A learner driver whose car was struck by a passenger train on a level crossing near Faversham is facing jail.

Jake Chapman only held a provisional licence and had no insurance or MOT when he drove his Ford car onto Stone Crossing in Buckland.

The impact, just before midnight on October 24 last year, caused the vehicle to burst into flames.

Jake Chapman has appeared in court (12153850)
Jake Chapman has appeared in court (12153850)

Dramatic photos later emerged showing the burnt-out wreckage at the crossing in Lower Road which is controlled by barriers.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that £110,000 of damage was also caused to the Southeastern train and track.

There were 20 passengers onboard who had to be led to safety but there were no reports of any casualties.

Train services were still disrupted the following morning due to damage to the crossing and signalling.

The wreckage of Jake Chapman's car
The wreckage of Jake Chapman's car

Chapman, 21, was subsequently arrested and has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and endangering the safety of railway passengers.

Sentencing was adjourned until September 16 but Judge Julian Smith told Chapman, of Edward Road, Queenborough, to "prepare himself" for jail.

"There is a view on one hand that you walked away from a risk that you had created, disregarding its consequences," said the judge.

"Your defence are seeking to persuade me that you literally did not have time to do anything meaningful.

The car burst into flames after it was hit by the train
The car burst into flames after it was hit by the train

"You accept you were culpable because of your bad driving, putting your car in that situation.

"But you must understand that either way I am not making you any promises.

"You must prepare yourself for a custodial sentence."

Chapman was released on bail with a condition of residence. He was also given an interim driving ban.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here

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