A SALTNEY man was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a train on a level crossing.
Trevor Rowlands was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, on Lache Lane, Balderton.
The tragic accident led to lengthy delays on the Wrexham to Chester line and involved a train carrying about 100 passengers.
Emergency services rushed to the crossing at Balderton, on the outskirts of Chester, at about 5.20pm on Tuesday.
The motorcyclist is believed to be a 49-year-old of Saltney. He has been named locally as Trevor Rowlands.
His friend and former colleague at Abbey Taxis in Chester, manager Allan Moore, said: “Trevor was a lovely lad and a fantastic motorcyclist. It’s so distressing not to know what happened. All I can say was that he was a fantastic man.”
Mr Moore, said he had known Mr Rowlands for 15 years. He confirmed Mr Rowlands was originally from Blacon.
Arriva Trains Wales spokesman, Katrina Tzannis, confirmed the level crossing barriers were down at the time of the accident, awaiting a train travelling from Wrexham. The train, carrying more than 100 passengers, hit the male motorcyclist as a result of which he received fatal injuries.
A North West Ambulance Service spokesman added: “The patient was found dead at the scene.”
British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said police cordoned off the scene for several hours to conduct an investigation into the accident.
A spokesman for British Transport Police said yesterday: “We are now working with Cheshire Police to determine the identity of the motorbike rider and the circumstances surrounding the collision.”
Keith Lumley, spokesman for Network Rail, which owns and operates the level crossing, said initial investigations show the crossing equipment was ‘working correctly’ at the time of the accident.
He added: “The Rail Accident Investigation Branch were called out on site immediately to look at the overall scene and whether the crossing was working correctly and indications show that it was.
“The investigation is still ongoing and Network Rail will cooperate fully with the Rail Investigation Branch and the BTP to provide any assistance we can to both organisations.”
Arriva Trains Wales spokesman Ms Tzannis added: “We offer our sincere condolences to the family of the motorcyclist.
“We also apologise for any delay caused to the passengers travelling between Wrexham and Chester during the incident.”
Trains between Wrexham and Chester were delayed from about 5.30pm until late evening, she added.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.
See full story in the Leader