Broward County

Third person hit by Brightline train since its debut

Brightline brings new ways to beat traffic

Brightline launched its first train route from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, bringing new commuting options that the rail line said will alleviate traffic hassles for commuters.
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Brightline launched its first train route from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, bringing new commuting options that the rail line said will alleviate traffic hassles for commuters.

Someone trying to “beat the train across the tracks” was injured by a Brightline train Friday evening, the third person struck since the high-speed commuter train made its public debut a week earlier.

The gates were down and the lights were flashing at the Flagler and Northeast Third Avenue crossing when a pedestrian attempting to cross the tracks was hit by the train, said Fort Lauderdale police spokesperson Tracy Figone. The train stopped, and the person was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

On Wednesday evening, Jeffrey King, a cyclist who rode around the train’s safety gates, was hit and killed by a Brightline train in Boynton Beach, prompting a call from both of Florida’s U.S. senators, Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, for a safety review. Another woman, Melissa Lavell, died after being struck by a Brightline train in Boynton Beach on Jan. 12, during a sneak-peek, invite-only ride ahead of the company’s grand opening the following day. She crossed the tracks while the safety rails were down.

Two others were killed while Brightline was testing the service — one woman whose death was investigated as a suicide and another who was killed on the tracks in Deerfield Beach.

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