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The level crossing which is provided with gates opening away from the railway was temporarily manned by a crossing keeper because it was being used by lorries belonging to a firm of gravel contractors moving unwashed gravel from pits north of the railway (on the Down side) to plant on the south (Up) side. It was the crossing keeper’s duty to ask the signalman’s permission to open the gates to road traffic and to inform the signalman when they were again shut and the crossing clear. At 10.02 such a request was made and a lorry passed over from the Down to the Up side, but the crossing keeper took the opportunity of the open gates to carry a bundle of wood from the Down side to his hut on the Up side, and he then closed only the Up side gate before telephoning the signalman and telling him that both gates were shut and the crossing clear. A few minutes later a loaded lorry arrived on the Down side and entered the crossing although the Up side gate was still closed, and was hit by an empty 4 car electric multiple-unit (EMU) train travelling at about 55 m.p.h. on the Up line.