It is the video clip that has horrified millions – a teenager avoiding death by a fraction of a second as he idiotically dashes in front of a speeding train, which catches and mangles his shoe.
Craig Grant’s trainer was sliced in half by the impact after he jumped over a level-crossing barrier – but amazingly he escaped with only minor damage to his
The heart-stopping footage was released last week to warn others of the dangers of ignoring level-crossing gates. And speaking publicly for the first time about his accident, Craig, 19, said: ‘It makes me feel sick. The fact that I was half a second – six inches – from dying.
‘It’s scary when you think about it. The shoe was mangled. It was literally cut in half – the back was hanging on by a bit of thread. It was destroyed. I’m just lucky that wasn’t my leg or my foot or, in fact, my life. If the train had hit me I would have exploded on impact.’
The factory worker was going to work on December 17 last year when he decided to jump the level-crossing safety barrier and walk over the tracks at Rainham station in Essex.
He had seen another man climb over and cross and as he was late he decided to follow on his way to the Albright Industrial Estate on the other side of the tracks.
Craig said: ‘I didn’t really look because normally when you wait for the trains to come past, they wouldn’t come for two or three minutes, so I thought I had my chance to get across.
‘So I jumped it and, as I go across the railway line, I see the train literally inches away from me.
‘Instead of jumping back like some people do, I darted forward and it kicked my ankle and took my shoe completely off.
‘And with that I felt this pain rush across me as I got over to the other side.’
He left his white Reebok Classic trainer behind him on the track and, in spite of the searing pain, carried on running until he got to the other barrier, fearing another train could be on the way. The stranger who had jumped the barrier ahead of Craig helped him to walk over to the industrial estate.
He was then taken by ambulance to Queen’s Hospital in nearby Romford and treated for torn muscles and a minor fracture of his right ankle.
British Transport Police officers cautioned Craig the next day for obstructing the railway. They also showed him the shredded remains of his trainer.
The train, heading out of London towards Southend-on-Sea, had not stopped at Rainham and was travelling at about 66mph when it caught Craig’s shoe.