POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – A person was killed when a Brightline train slammed into an SUV in Pompano Beach.
It happened just after 10 a.m. at the train crossing at W Atlantic Boulevard and N Dixie Highway. The train came to a stop nearly two blocks away at SW 2nd Street.
Chopper4 over the scene spotted what remained of the vehicle impaled on the front of the train’s engine, debris from the crash spread all around. The train crossing warning arms were in the down position.
Witnesses said after the crash, the SUV caught on fire as it was pushed down the track.
Brightline officials said the train was going southbound at the time of the crash. Firefighters helped those onboard to exit using a ladder. They were then ushered to waiting buses.
Because of the accident trains are backed Up to Jacksonville.
Extricating the mangled vehicle took hours. The Broward Sheriff’s Office brought in a special tow truck.
The track finally opened some three hours after the crash.
“I don’t understand why people think they can beat the train. Those trains go 60 to 70 miles an hour,” said witness, Lewis Robinson.
Despite an aggressive campaign by Brightline to stop train accidents, the death rate is still climbing.
Brightline says some deaths are due to suicide and drugs. “We were there when a man laid down on the tracks despite the sound of the approaching train.”
In Boynton Beach, a man lost his life trying to ride his bike over the tracks.
Officials urge you to always stop when the arm is down and to never try to beat a train.