Unanderra: train and car collide at level crossing

Emergency services at the scene in Unanderra where a car and train have collided. Picture: ADAM McLEANTrain and car accident at Unanderra: photosA man and woman had a ‘‘miraculous’’ escape after their car collided with a train at a Unanderra level crossing on Monday morning.
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The car was travelling south when it collided with the northbound commuter train at the level crossing on the Princes Highway, 400 metres south of the Nolan Street intersection.

The accident happened shortly before 8am.

After the impact, the train dragged the car for at least 20 metres after the collision.

Duty commander Fire and Rescue Illawarra Inspector John Hawes described the pair’s escape as ‘‘miraculous’’ given the damage to the car.

‘‘The car was impacted with the front of the train to the windscreen,’’ Insp Hawes said.

‘‘The steering column was squashed into the drivers seat.’’

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But he said neither the male driver or female passenger were injured, aside from suffering some shock.

At this stage it is unclear whether the driver and passenger were inside the car at the time of the collision.

Insp Hawes said there were about 40 people on the commuter train, and they also escaped injury.

Sydney Trains organised buses so the passengers could continue their journey.

Insp Hawes said it took about an hour to remove the cars, which was a write-off, from under the train.

‘‘We were under the guidance of Sydney Trains because we didn’t want to incur further damage to the train if it could be avoided,’’ Insp Hawes said.

After some ‘‘cutting and pushing’’ they were able to use a tow-truck to pull the car free.

The train was moved to a rail siding at Unanderra where Sydney Trains staff could further assess the damage.

The accident caused chaos for road and rail commuters.

The train had stopped across the road, blocking all four lanes of the Princes Highway for almost two hours.

Police had set up diversions to move motorists around the accident site.

The South Coast line was partially closed in both directions between Unanderra and Dapto.

Southbound passengers travelling beyond Unanderra had to change at Wollongong for a bus service.

Four bus services operating in the area were also affected, with five bus stops being missed as the buses were diverted along Nolan Street and Orange Grove Avenue.

Illawarra Mercury

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Sport in focus: August 31photos

Sport in focus | photos BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 29: Mohamed Farah of Great Britain celebrates after crossing the finish line to win gold in the Men’s 5000 metres final during day eight of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 29: Adam Sebastian Helcelet of the Czech Republic competes in the Men’s Decathlon Pole Vault during day eight of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 30: Tom Hickey of the Saints (c) compete for the ball against Sam Reid (L) and Adam Goodes of the Swans during the round 22 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on August 30, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 24: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica (C) beats Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands (L) and Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica to win gold in the Women’s 100 metres final during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 30: Agnatius Paasi of the Titans takes on the defence during the round 25 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium on August 30, 2015 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 30: Katharina Gallhuber of Austria competes in the Alpine Giant Slalom – FIS Australia New Zealand Cup during the Winter Games NZ at Coronet Peak on August 30, 2015 in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

WANAKA, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 27: Bobby Brown of the United States competes in the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Slopestyle Qualification during the Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort on August 27, 2015 in Wanaka, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 24: Athletes compete in the Women’s 3000 metres steeplechase heats during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 29: Yordani Garcia of Cuba falls next to Felipe Dos Santos of Brazil in the Men’s Decathlon 110 metres hurdles during day eight of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 30: A general view of play during the round 22 AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval on August 30, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 29: Michael Firrito of the Kangaroos is tackled by Jake Stringer of the Bulldogs during the 2015 AFL round 22 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia on August 29, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 28: Cindy Roleder of Germany celebrates after winning silver in the Women’s 100 metres hurdles final during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for IAAF)

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 29: Jack Martin of the Suns is tackled during the round 22 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Port Adelaide Power at Metricon Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 27: Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line to win gold ahead of second place Justin Gatlin of the United States (R) and Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa (L) in the Men’s 200 metres final during day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 29: Matej Toth of Slovakia celebrates after crossing the finish line to win gold in the Men’s 50km Race Walk during day eight of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 24: Raphael Marcel Holzdeppe of Germany celebrates after winning silver in the Men’s Pole Vault final during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 28: Joel Baden of Australia competes in the Men’s High Jump qualification during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 29: Valentine Holmes of the Sharks is tackled during the round 25 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Cronulla Sharks at Pirtek Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 24: Ivan Gertlein of Russia competes in the Men’s Pole Vault final during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Michelle Carter researched ‘best way’ for Conrad Roy to die: court

Tragedy: Michelle Carter and her now deceased boyfriend Conrad Roy. Photo: FacebookRead the text messages between Carter and Roy
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A teenager on trial in the US for allegedly coaxing her boyfriend in a series of text messages to kill himself has been accused of helping him to research the “best way” to do so, according to court documents.

Michelle Carter, 18, is defending a charge of involuntary manslaughter following the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, also 18, who was found dead in his car in a parking lot in Massachusetts in July last year.

Prosecutors in the New Bedford Juvenile Court claim that Ms Carter, who was 17 at the time, discussed with Mr Roy the best method to make his death “painless and quick”.

Among the hundreds of text messages the pair allegedly shared, Ms Carter is accused of going so far as to provide “back-up plans” should his initial choice not work.

An indictment issued by a Bristol County grand jury alleges that, between July 6 and July 12, Ms Carter assisted Mr Roy to take his life via dozens of messages.

She allegedly counselled him to overcome his doubts about suicide, and allegedly texted him comments such as “tonight is the night” and “you just have to do it”, according to court documents.

In one text she allegedly said to Mr Roy: “You said you were gonna do it. I don’t get like why you aren’t.”

Mr Roy responded: “I don’t get it either. I don’t know.”

In court last week, Ms Carter’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, attempted to get the charge against his client dropped, claiming the Mr Roy had “brainwashed” Ms Carter, the Boston Herald reported.

Mr Cataldo argued that Ms Carter at first tried to discourage Mr Roy from killing himself and even suggested he join her at McLean Hospital, a psychiatric hospital where she had been receiving treatment.

Mr Roy had tried to get Ms Carter to take part in a Romeo and Juliet-style suicide the month before his death, Mr Cataldo said.

The lawyer said that Mr Roy told Ms Carter: “Let’s do a Romeo and Juliet. The two of us, together, kill ourselves.”

Mr Cataldo said that Ms Carter replied: “[Expletive] no. We are not dying.”

Eleven days before his death, Mr Roy again asked Ms Carter to kill herself with him, Mr Cataldo said, and she said no.

Eventually, Mr Cataldo said, “There’s a turn.

“He has, in fact, brainwashed her to the point where she’s now accepting his idea of, ‘This is my only option,’ ” Mr Cataldo said.

Ms Carter, who was on the phone to Mr Roy when he died, later told a friend she was talking to him while he killed himself and heard him cry in pain.

Prosecutors allege Ms Carter text messaged Mr Roy’s sister on the night of his death and acted as though she did not know what had happened.

“Do you know where your brother is?” she allegedly asked Mr Roy’s sister in a text.

A few days after Mr Roy’s death, Ms Carter told a friend via text message that she blamed herself.

“It’s my fault, I was talking to him while he killed himself. I heard him cry in pain. I should have known. I should have done something.”

The case continues.

Fairfax Media

❏ Support is available for those who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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The Gods of Rugby Heaven: The outside centres

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Frank Bunce. Photo: Jack Atley

Frank Bunce (New Zealand). Bunce was the Cal Ripken jnr of rugby, a midfield ironman who missed just a single match for the All Blacks during his 59-Test career from 1991-1997. He started in every match he was selected for and was part of the All Blacks side that fell to South Africa in the 1995 World Cup decider. Bunce was a tough customer with the ball and added plenty of starch in defence.

Jeremy Guscott. Photo: Reuters

Jeremy Guscott (England). Guscott oozed class in the English No.13 jersey, featuring in three World Cups as part of his 73-Test career. He was a free-striding outside back who could slip through a gap with his deceptive pace. It resulted in 31 tries, the last of which was an intercept against Tonga in his final World Cup appearance in 1999.

Brian O’Driscoll. Photo: Lawrence Smith

Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland). The Irishman has left records in his wake during a brilliant international career that has only been surpassed – in caps at least – by the great Richie McCaw. O’Driscoll appeared 141 times in the emerald green and considered trying to reach a fifth World Cup before eventually retiring. A gifted all-round athlete, there was little O’Driscoll couldn’t do on a rugby field and although he would never savour World Cup success, ended his playing days regarded as one of the great outside centres.

Philippe Sella (left). Photo: Reuters

Philippe Sella (France). Australian rugby fans might best remember French great Sella from his crunching king-hit on Wallaby lock Peter FitzSimons in 1990. But that moment of brutality was a far cry from his dangerous stylings in the back line, where he combined pace and beautiful hands throughout his 111-match career. His presence would help the French to five Five Nations crowns but he missed out in all three World Cups, with the closest shave coming in the final in 1987.

Conrad Smith. Photo: John Selkirk

Conrad Smith (New Zealand). Smith has been a picture of consistency in a settled All Blacks back line, combining brilliantly with Ma’a Nonu and being one of his country’s strongest contributors in the 2011 World Cup victory. He’s never been blessed with the greatest speed or silken skills, but has a natural grasp of the game and times his involvement to perfection. The 33-year-old won’t win games by being flashy but we doubt any of the current All Blacks would consider trading in one of their most dependable campaigners.

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The Gods of Rugby Heaven: The five-eighths

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Dan Carter. Photo: Getty Images

Dan Carter (New Zealand). Carter is a true golden boy of New Zealand rugby, with his boyish good looks well and truly matched by a game that many regard as peerless in terms of No.10s. He is the leading point-scorer in international rugby, with his radar boot the perfect complement for an all-rround game that has stood the test of time. A groin injury before the final pool game against Canada meant Carter missed the long-awaited 2011 World Cup victory. Few would be more deserved in the 2015 edition.

Grant Fox. Photo: Getty Images

Grant Fox (New Zealand). One try in 46 Tests for the All Blacks suggests that Fox wasn’t much of a threat with ball-in-hand. Put it on a mound of sand and it was a different story. Fox remains one of the greatest goal kickers the game has seen, with his deadly boot integral as New Zealand won the first World Cup in 1987. He finished his career with 645 points and was also regarded as an adept tactician and playmaker.

Stephen Larkham. Photo: Steve Christo

Stephen Larkham (Australia). The lanky five-eighth was a mainstay of the Wallabies throughout the late 90s and 2000s, an era that reaped plenty of rewards including the 1999 World Cup. His drop-goal in the semi-final that year against the Springboks has now become legend. It was his first in international rugby and he only booted two in a superb 102-Test career. Larkham’s former life as a fullback meant he could slice through gaps, while his ability to hit his outside men was pivotal to unleashing the Wallaby backline.

Michael Lynagh. Photo: Getty Images

Michael Lynagh (Australia). The former Wallaby captain combined his ability to conduct a backline with pin-point accuracy from the boot. Lynagh was capped 72 times for Australia in an 11-year career that would end in 1995 with 911 points on the board. The man known as ‘Noddy’ would reach the pinnacle in 1991 when he was vice-captain of the Wallaby side that won the World Cup.

Jonny Wilkinson. Photo: AP

Jonny Wilkinson (England). Very few players occupy the same World Cup rare air as England’s heroic match-winner. In 2003, he would fire the ultimate shot at arch-enemy Australia when he slotted a drop goal to win the final, elating one country while deflating another. He was a voracious point-scorer (1179) across his 91 caps for England although his latter career was curtailed through injury. He played on until the end of 2011, starting four of the five World Cup games before retiring at the end of the year. His kicking stance, hands clasped together, knees bent, became an iconic image for English rugby.

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