Trapped driver describes 'Final Destination' moment as train hurtled towards him on level crossing in East Boldon
Gill Baljinder Singh was inches away from death as the train clipped the front of his car while he was trapped between another vehicle and a barrier.
The 33-year-old said it was like a scene from the film Final Destination, as he realised the train was going to strike him.
Mr Singh, from Moor Lane, Cleadon, appeared in South Tyneside Magistrates' Court to face a charge of driving without due care and attention in connection with the incident on March 7 this year.
Mr Singh was travelling home from an evening out and was in a queue at the Tile Shed level crossing in East Boldon when the barrier raised for motorists to cross.
Mr Singh said he followed the car in front, but it stalled and came to a standstill, forcing him to stop on the railway tracks.
Then, to his horror, the lights changed to red, he tried to reverse, but the barrier came down, striking the back of his car.
In that moment, he was trapped with the train hurtling towards him.
He said: "I was trapped, I couldn't go forward and I couldn't reverse. It was dark and the train was heading towards me, it was like a scene from Final Destination.
"I just prayed to God and then I felt the train swipe the front of the car. I am just lucky to be alive."
The married dad-of-one who works in hospitality said had the car been at just a slightly different angle, he would not have survived.
Mr Singh was charged with driving without due care and attention, because he was in the yellow box junction when the crash happened and he pleaded guilty to the offence.
Defending, Christopher Wilson, told the court that there was no suggestion his client had been drinking or driving in any sort of erratic way, he simply followed the car in front to go over the crossing.
He said: "It was a situation any of us could have found ourselves in and I don't know how he walked away."
Mr Singh was given five penalty points on his licence and fined £185, £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Following the case he said he hopes his narrow miss will act a warning to other drivers to be extra careful when using the busy crossing.