An impatient bloke who refused to wait for the barriers as a speeding train approached diced with death as his BMW got stuck whilst the carriages hurtled towards him.
Photos show the heart-stopping moment Steven Maxwell Lestrange became trapped after he failed to make it under the second barrier with an oncoming train zooming right at him and his passenger.
The wealthy 67-year-old insurance broker panicked in the face of death and was seen frantically trying to reverse whilst the other person in the car tried to open a door.
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Luckily for the brazen driver, a heroic signaller spotted the car and quickly opened the barrier to allow him to clear the crossing before the potentially fatal accident unfolded.
British Transport Police (BTP) launched an investigation following the terrifying near miss at Windmill Lane level crossing in Hertfordshire on March 24.
Lestrange, who lives on Tolmers Road, Potters Bar – where houses fetch upwards of £1million – was arrested but denied driving carelessly.
Following a trial at Highbury Magistrates' Court, Lestrange was found guilty of driving without due care and attention.
On Tuesday (December 20) a judge ordered him to pay fines totalling £657 and added six points to his driving licence.
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Inspector Stephen Webster said: "There is simply no excuse for trying to rush through a level crossing, and I hope this footage serves as a stark warning to anyone contemplating doing so.
"Being slightly late to a Christmas dinner or arriving at your destination a minute or two later is always a better option to putting yourself and railway passengers in grave danger.
"If you spot anyone failing to adhere to safety protocols at a level crossing, I urge you to report it to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.
"Just as we did in this case – we will take action and ensure careless drivers are appropriately punished."
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