FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Senator Bill Nelson has called for an investigation into the safety of the Brightline train line following a second fatal incident since beginning trips to Ft. Lauderdale.
On Wednesday, 51-year-old Jeffrey King was hit by one of the Brightlines trains in Boynton Beach as he rode his bike across the train tracks. Investigators said King pedaled around the gates, which were down, in an attempt to beat the approaching train.
Last Friday, 31-year-old Melissa Lavell was killed during the express train’s VIP opening while also going around the lowered gates.
The deaths alarmed Nelson who wrote a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Cho requesting a probe into the security crossings along the train’s path.
“Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings are a leading cause of railroad-related fatalities and injuries. In Florida, we have seen the challenges of addressing grade crossing safety, where according to 2016 data the state is in the top ten for fatalities and collisions. Tragically, this trend is continuing with two recent fatalities in Boynton Beach involving the Brightline high-speed train,” the letter read in part.
So far, DOT has not responded to the senator’s request.