Hatfield crash driver still not back at work

The young woman driver whose train derailed at Hatfield has yet to return to work more than three months after the accident which killed four people, it was disclosed today.

The driver, who is in her 20s and who had had only seven weeks' experience on high-speed trains, was unhurt in the 115mph crash.

But her company, east coast main line operator GNER, said today she was still upset by the October derailment which saw the roof ripped off the train's buffet car.

"This was quite a disturbing incident for anyone to find themselves in and she is still off work," a GNER spokesman told PA News today. "We very much hope she will be back at work soon."

A second interim report on the crash by the Health and Safety Executive earlier this week cleared the driver of any blame for the crash, which was caused by a broken rail.

But the HSE did say that, according to strict rules, the driver should not have been in control of a train at high speed as she had only done seven of the 11 weeks required training.

But the report added that she was under close supervision by a fully-qualified supervisor and there was "no evidence that these circumstances contributed in any way to the cause of the derailment".

The driver, who is based at Leeds, had worked for another train company, Northern Spirit, before joining GNER. But she had not driven high-seeped trains before moving to the east coast company.

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