There have been a number of deadly collisions involving Brightline trains in south Florida in recent weeks.
In one recent example, the fourth in as many days, a driver from Miami Gardens ended up having his vehicle split into two pieces when he drove around the safety gates and was hit almost immediately by an oncoming train.
The 55-year-old male driver had to be transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach with serious injuries after he was extracted from one half of his Honda Civic with the jaws of life.
According to the sheriff’s report, the man was waiting behind other cars for a freight train that was heading north on the west railroad tracks at Dixie Highway and Washington Avenue and Lake Worth Beach. The safety gates were down, and then remained down for a Brightline train that was heading south on the east tracks.
The impatient driver, apparently not realizing another train was coming, decided to pass stopped vehicles and drive around the safety gates, directly into the path of the oncoming Brightline train.
Recent accident trends
Brightline released a statement following the accident calling the behavior of the driver “incredibly dangerous, irresponsible and tragic.” Drivers were reminded to never drive around lower gates, and to always make sure the way is clear before crossing tracks.
Other recent accidents included a train hitting a pedestrian, a woman abandoning her vehicle on tracks in Delray Beach and a man being hit in his Ford Fusion by a Brightline train.
Local police have been stressing safety around the railroad, and local government officials have been pleading with drivers to stay safe and not force their way past trains at crossings.
For more information about liability issues in train accidents and safety tips at rail crossings, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.