Florida man fatally struck by train after driving by gate
A 48-year-old man died when a higher-speed train crashed into his car after he drove around a flashing signal warning vehicles to stop, sheriff's officials said.
The crash happened late Sunday afternoon in Lake Worth, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.
Investigators identified the victim as Hidegalde Perez of West Palm Beach.
An incident report said the Ford Fusion that Perez was driving was tossed into a metal fence and a power pole before it landed on its passenger side.
It's at least the seventh death involving Brightline since the railroad resumed operations late last year following a shutdown for much of the pandemic.
Last month, a man was fatally struck by the higher-speed train as he crossed the tracks in Hollywood.
Other recent deaths include a 68-year-old man and his sister, who were struck by a train when the brother drove his SUV around a lowered crossing gate, officials said.
These deaths continue a trend that shows Brightline to have the worst fatality rate among the country’s approximately 800 railroads since it began test runs in mid-2017, according to an Associated Press analysis of Federal Railroad Administration data.
None of the 52 earlier deaths involving Brightline have been blamed on its equipment or crews. Investigations showed most victims were either suicidal, intoxicated, mentally ill or had gone around barriers at an intersection in an attempt to beat the trains, which travel up to 79 mph (128 kph) through densely populated areas between Miami and West Palm Beach.
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