Driver killed when freight train hits her car in Aventura

 

Miami Herald staff report

A driver was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a northbound FEC train at an Aventura rail crossing, police said.

The crash happened at about 2:35 a.m. in the 17600 block of Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura Police Sgt. Chris Goranitis said.

There were no witnesses, according to Bob Ledoux, senior vice president of the Florida East Coast Railway.

According to Ledoux, the train started in Hialeah and was headed to Jacksonville. After the crash, the train was delayed for two hours before continuing to Jacksonville.

Ledoux said the woman broke through the train crossing with her car and remained inside car while it sat on the tracks. The freight train had passengers aboard.

Ledoux wasn’t allowed to identify the train’s engineer and conductor, who he said put the emergency brake on once they noticed the car sitting on the tracks.

“It was too late,” Ledoux said. “They were never going to stop in time.”

Ledoux said there could be no fault found with the train operators.

“People forget about the engineer and conductor who have no ability to do anything, and know it’s coming,” he said. “They know their ability to stop the train. They know that they’re going to hit something.

“These are seasoned guys. They’ve seen it all.”

Ledoux said the conductor and engineer had no chance to stop a train that long in such a short amount of time.

“It’s going to take two miles to break,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s too late. It’s a sad story.”

Police were on the scene for more than three hours. A preliminary investigation indicated that the “railway crossings were functional and that the vehicle went around the crossings resulting in the crash,” according to Goranitis.

The identity of the woman, driving a white 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis will not be released until her family is notified, police said.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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