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POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – It was a tragedy on the tracks when a 55-year-old woman was struck by a train and killed in Pompano Beach on Monday, as her two daughters and grandchild were nearby.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office identified the woman as Malita Hyppolite.
According to family members, Hyppolite’s 18-year-old daughter was driving her to the eye doctor.
Also in the vehicle, Hyppolite’s other daughter and her granddaughter.
“She’s a lady that has a big heart, cares about everybody, was a loyal person. As you can see we have people come from all over,” said Hyppolite’s eldest son, Kerson Hyppolite, at the home where a number of family members had gathered upon hearing the news.
The accident happened around 9:15 a.m. when a train on the FEC railroad lines struck Hyppolite. The train then struck the front fender of the car at east Copans Road at North Dixie Highway.
Chopper4 captured the scene as rescue crews responded.
“They could have moved backwards. There was room to move forward, but for some reason they didn’t,” said a woman who did not want to be identified.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle was stopped on the tracks. The proper warning signals went into effect as a train approached.
Hypolite, her daughters and granddaughter made it out of the vehicle. But Hyppolite did not make it off the tracks and was struck by the train.
“As we seen it, we thought it was a piece of the car that flew over,” witness James Covington said. “But when we went up to the car to see if there was anybody in it, one of the daughters she came and said, ‘Our mommy, she’s over there.’”
Witnesses said they tried to help but there was nothing they could do for Hyppolite.
“They were screaming and falling down and screaming their mommy, telling the baby, ‘That’s your grandma. She’s never coming back,’” Covington said.
“I can’t get the image out of my mind. I can’t get the sound, the screaming,” a witness said. “And I can’t get the fact that that baby was right there.”
The east and west lanes of Copans Road near the crash site were closed for several hours as the Broward Sheriff’s Office investigated.
Hyppolite’s family said they’re leaning on their faith as they mourn the loss of the matriarch of the family.
“I’m shocked but at the same time, what she left me. You know she left me with the Lord and she said, ‘God gives and he takes away,’” said Kerson Hyppolite.