Train nearly hits track trespasser
A FREIGHT train narrowly missed hitting a 4WD vehicle in the Toodyay townsite last month when the driver tried to cross the rail line illegally and got bogged.
The locomotive engine driver said he missed the stranded white Toyota andcruiser (pictured above) by less than a foot (30.5cm).
The engine driver immediately made an emergency call to police to say that a man with a torch had tried to wave him down at about 10.30pm on Sunday October 4.
However, the fully laden goods train was travelling too fast to stop.Read more
Police arrived at the scene soon after and found a Coondle man in his mid-30s who appeared to be affected by alcohol.
The man was identified as the vehicle owner and had the ignition keys with him but said someone else had been driving.
His vehicle had travelled west from the visitor information bay onto the railway reserve before getting bogged in soft ground on a sloping angle while trying to cross the rails illegally behind the Toodyay Community Centre in Stirling Terrace.
The driver had tried to take a short cut, the vehicle owner said.
There was no sign of anyone else at the scene.
The busy east-west rail link was closed for four hours while local police tried to free the bogged vehicle with a tow rope.
When that proved unsuccessful, a Northam towing company was called to clear the line at about midnight.
Part of the railway ballast had been dug out by the bogged vehicle’s wheels and an engineer from Perth had to be called to inspect the track before the line was declared safe to be re-opened at about 2.30am.
The vehicle owner was not breath tested due to lack of proof that he was the driver.
Arc Infrastructure, which operates the railway line and manages the rail reserve access track, declined to press charges for trespass.
No police charges were laid but the Landcruiser owner had to pay $400 for the Northam tow truck call-out.
Toodyay police wish to remind local residents that railway access tracks are not open to the public and offenders can be charged with trespass – or face other costs.
TWO MOTORISTS were each immediately disqualified from driving for two months after blowing in excess of 0.08 when stopped by Toodyay police last month.
A blood alcohol content of 0.08 per cent is equivalent to drinking about four or five pints of full-strength beer in two hours.
The first driver – a man in his mid-20s – was stopped for a random breath test at about 10.20pm in Telegraph Road and charged with drink driving after his car was seen parked outside a local hotel.
A week later he was again stopped on Telegraph Road and charged with driving while under suspension.
This time his car was automatically seized by police and impounded at a Northam towing yard.
The cost to retrieve it was about $1000 plus fines for the two offences.
The man did not test positive when breathalysed for the second offence.
The second drink driver last month was a woman in her 40s who Toodyay police stopped for speeding in Northam at 6.35pm.
She was charged with driving at 28km/h more than the townsite speed limit of 50km/h and driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 per cent.
The woman said she had been drinking at home before being stopped by police.
As the weather warms up, we’ll be doing more random breath tests on local roads.
The message is “don’t drink and drive”.
Pot plants pinched
A SPOT of illicit gardening has landed a Coondle man in court to face a charge of cultivating an illegal drug in his backyard.
Toodyay police visited the man’s house with a Misuse of Drugs Act search warrant last month after receiving a tip-off about his illegal fledgling crop.
They found eight small cannabis plants (above) growing in three pots.
It is a criminal offence in Western Australia to possess, use, manufacture, cultivate or supply an illicit drug.
The man aged in his 60s said he had been growing the drug for his own use.
Toodyay residents are reminded that they can report any information they may have about illegal activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or call Toodyay Police Station on 9574 9555.
All information will be treated confidentially.