Sandy Lane Level Crossing
The horror scene saw a freight train which was travelling between Trafford Park and Southampton collide with the man's vehicle (Wikicommons)

A crash at a rural rail crossing in Sandy Lane, just north of Oxford in the town of Yarnton killed one man at 3.40pm this evening.

The horror scene saw a freight train which was travelling between Trafford Park and Southampton freight collide with the man's vehicle. He is believed to have died instantly.

Another man who was also in the Renault Kangoo was removed to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital with minor injuries, and two more people were treated on the spot by responding medical teams.

Transport police said the train driver, whom it is understood pulled the emergency brake in vain, was not seriously hurt but was visibly upset.

"The train involved was a Trafford Park to Southampton freight service," a police statement read. "It is believed two people were in the vehicle at the time. Sadly one of them, a man, was pronounced dead at the scene."

In the aftermath of the accident, commuters who visited the National Rail Enquiries website were told to face long delays, with buses laid on between Banbury and Oxford. Those services worst affected are along the Cross Country and First Great Western corridors, with disruption expected to continue into Thursday.

The local Oxford Mail reported a staff member at nearby Yarnton nurseries as saying that the small town was chaotic in the aftermath of the smash.

"I have just heard a lot of sirens," the staffer said. "They have been going for the past few minutes."

Yarnton Leisure worker Kaye Brown echoed this: "We have heard a lot of sirens. It has been non-stop."

Meanwhile it has emerged that the crossing has had a troubled past, with one source telling Channel 4 News the fault has been ongoing, "for four years."

"The Network Rail maintenance team have not been able to fix it. The barrier arms stay down much longer than they should do."

Local reports suggest the crossing was due for a safety upgrade in the coming week.

"Officers are working to establish the full circumstances, including how the car came to be on the tracks at the time," the police statement added.