A BRAVE train conductor who was hurled across a derailed carriage in a terrifying crash will overcome her fears by leaping out of an aeroplane from 15,000ft.

August 17, 2010 is a date forever seared into the memory of 38-year-old Candice Goddard.

Then a train conductor of two years, Candice was reaching the end of her first shift on the National Express East Anglia train from Sudbury to Marks Tey.

Travelling at a speed of 40mph, the two-carriage train struck a sewage tanker at a level crossing.

The train driver managed to apply the brakes and issue a sudden warning to passengers, but there was nothing he could do to prevent the smash.

Candice was in the second carriage. Both left the rails following the impact.

She recalls: “I suddenly felt the brakes go on sharply and heard my driver shout ‘Brace yourselves, we are going to crash’.

“I was flung forwards, hitting chair legs and tables.

Halstead Gazette:

“I believe I managed to grab a chair leg until the train finally stopped. I heard a huge bang on impact. I attempted to help passengers who were injured and in shock. I also phoned the emergency services.”

She added: “I was in great pain but managed to assist others.

“The emergency services where on scene in minutes.”

The crash left 21 people with injuries, with one passenger suffering life threatening internal trauma.

The driver of the tanker, Arvydas Bartasius, was jailed for 15 months at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting a charge of endangering safety on the railway.

Candice recalls receiving a reward from the court for her actions that day.

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“It was the highest amount they could offer, they awarded both myself and the driver £500 each,” she said.

“It wasn’t important at the time, but it was nice to be appreciated.”

Candice overcame her physical injuries, which included severe bruising, whiplash and swelling to her legs and arm. But the mental trauma of that

day never left her.

With support from her employer she began on a long road to recovery.

Now working for Greater Anglia, she has spent 11 years as a conductor. It is a job she says she wouldn’t swap for any other – with one exception.

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“If you fall off a bike you get back on again,” she said. “I like helping people and enjoy the safety aspect of it. I love my job and couldn’t see myself doing anything else, except perhaps helping animals.”

After becoming a vegan two years ago, Candice, who lives in Holland-on-Sea, says her passion for animal welfare has grown.

This is why she will raise funds for Greenland Grove Animal Sanctuary, in St Osyth, when she takes part in her first skydive on August 16.

“I have visited the sanctuary and they do fantastic work, but struggle for funds as a small independent charity,” she said.

“The accident was such a horrific time in my life and to get to the point where I can conquer a fear like this, it will feel like a huge achievement.”

To support her challenge, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/candice-goddard-2