Broward County

Video shows gates down as bicyclist tries to beat Brightline train and is fatally struck

Video of Brightline train hitting cyclist released

Surveillance video from the front of the Brightline train shows the crossing gates were down when the train struck and killed a Boynton Beach man as he rode his bicycle across tracks in Boynton Beach on January 19, 2018.
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Surveillance video from the front of the Brightline train shows the crossing gates were down when the train struck and killed a Boynton Beach man as he rode his bicycle across tracks in Boynton Beach on January 19, 2018.

Video released this week by Boynton Beach police confirmed what law enforcement officials said from the beginning: The man fatally struck by the Brightline train last week crossed the tracks even though the gates were down.

The video, which was taken from a camera mounted to the train, shows the train speeding along as the bicycle comes into its path. Brightline is capable of speeds up to 79 mph.

On Jan 17, Jeffrey King, 51, was the second person killed by South Florida’s high-speed commuter line since launching the service to the public on Jan. 13.

Melissa Lavell, 31, was killed Jan. 12 — the commuter line’s VIP opening day — when she, too, tried to cross the tracks after the gates went down, Boynton Beach police said. The Boynton Beach woman was hit not far from where King was struck.

The commuter train line transports passengers between downtown Fort Lauderdale and downtown West Palm Beach.

King, who was heading west, was killed as he crossed the Florida East Coast Railway tracks on East Ocean Avenue. He was heading home after working his shift as a dishwasher at Troy’s Barbeque, the Palm Beach Post reported. The newspaper reported that Zedrick Barber II, an attorney representing King’s family, has since raised concerns about whether the equipment was functioning.

According to the Post, police said the train was traveling 78 mph when it hit King.

A third person was struck and injured on Friday night.

After King’s death, Florida’s two U.S. senators, Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, called for a federal safety review of the train.

Over the weekend, Brightline installed 20 new digital signs along the train’s route to deter illegal crossings.

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