Terrifying moment getaway driver abandons his vehicle in front of a 70mph express train

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Police have released footage of the moment a getaway driver smashed through a railway barrier and came within inches of colliding with a high-speed train.

Shane Hughes, 41, from Halifax, led officers on a chase for 37 miles before abandoning the decommissioned ambulance he was driving on the railway tracks at Kildwick, North Yorkshire, on 13 July 2018.

The video recorded on the dash cam of a police car, shows Hughes tearing the wrong way around a roundabout as he is followed by police.

After crashing through a barrier and stopping on the railway line, he is seen running away from his vehicle as a train rapidly approaches at 70mph.

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Officers frantically wave to try to warn the train driver of the danger ahead as the three-carriage passenger train thunders past blasting its horn, narrowly missing the getaway vehicle.

Hughes was yesterday jailed for 22 months and banned for driving for six years and 11 months. A judge at Bradford Crown Court said it was the worst case of dangerous driving he had ever seen.

© North Yorkshire Police

He pleaded guilty to a number of driving offences and a charge of theft.

After sentencing, Traffic Constable Gemma Brett, of the Major Collision Investigation Unit who led the case for North Yorkshire Police, said: “On the day of these offences, Shane Hughes put numerous lives at risk and could have caused untold carnage.

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“His actions were totally irresponsible, illegal and focused entirely on himself with no thought whatsoever for the safety of anyone else.

“The sentence handed to him today shows that the courts, as well as the police, are determined to keep North Yorkshire’s communities safe by getting offenders like Hughes off our roads.”