A CYCLIST who narrowly missed being hit by a train when he rode through a railway crossing as the barriers were closing is warning others to think twice.
Ian Carter was riding home from an 11-hour shift when he made the snap decision to pedal on through the level crossing in Cosham.
The 20-year-old was left with serious facial injuries when he hit one of the barriers but was thrown clear of the tracks, saving his life.
After four hours of surgery and 36 stitches, Ian, from Cosham, has permanent scarring.
He said: ‘I saw the barriers come down and thought I’d be able to make it across.
‘I made it through the first barrier and then I collided with the bottom of the second barrier.
‘My face was literally pumping blood out. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.’
Working with Fixers, a charity which supports young people to campaign on any issue, Ian is creating a short film which highlights the importance of rail safety and shows how a split decision can change your life forever.
Ian, whose childhood dream was to become a train driver, said: ‘When I was little I used to see the railway as one massive train set.
‘Now, with the help of Fixers, I want to show the risks people take by jumping the barriers.
‘If the train had been a few seconds faster I wouldn’t be here today, so seeing as I’m still here I need to get my message out and turn a negative into a positive.’
Ian visited Warblington School which is close to a level crossing, to share his experience and message with pupils.
He accepts that what he did could have cost him dearly and takes full responsibility.
He said: ‘I spent four hours having my face stitched up with 36 stitches, but it’s not just the physical injuries.
‘What I did was completely illegal and now I’m eligible to be fined a hefty sum that’s not going to be easy to pay off.
‘If my film is shown around schools and I can make just one person think twice before jumping the lights I can happily say I’ve done something to change a negative into a big positive.’
Fixers supports young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better. Visit fixers.org.uk.