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Brightline train obliterates SUV abandoned on North Miami tracks

Family abandons SUV just moments before it's blown to pieces by Brightline train
Family abandons SUV just moments before it's blown to pieces by Brightline train 02:48

MIAMI – A woman and her children abandon an SUV just moments before it's blown to pieces by a Brightline train. 

The collision happened around 5 p.m. at a railroad crossing in North Miami.  The crash happening just days after a multimillion-dollar announcement from Brightline that they'll be adding safety updates and additions to railroad crossings.

Witnesses say a woman was parked in between the downed gates and as she heard the train getting closer, she and her kids hopped out and abandoned their SUV on the tracks.

A Brightline train, with horns blaring, speeds down the tracks and slams directly into a parked SUV.

"Boom! It was a boom noise.  It sounded like a bomb almost."

The family inside the SUV narrowly escaping this catastrophic crash.

"I thought someone got hit."

The crash happening at the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and NE 141 Street. Jahu Moore works at a car dealership just behind the railroad crossing.

"You could see the sirens coming towards the building," he says.  "It was just like what was that where did that come from?  Everybody started moving towards the front to see what was going on."

On Monday, Brightline announced a $45,000,000 grant that will go towards safety improvements spanning across seven counties from Miami-Dade to Brevard.  Poles will be placed at crossings so cars can't go around the gates.  There will be 33 miles of fencing to stop people from crossing the tracks and hundreds of warnings and suicide crisis hotline signs will be put up.

"It's like a three way stop so maybe she was rushing to try and make that turn but she couldn't because there was probably a car in front of her or something like that so she got stuck in the tracks," says Moore.

A family member, who wasn't there when the collision happened, came to the scene to collect debris. 

He says he doesn't know why the SUV was parked on the track but he's grateful tonight that his family wasn't hurt.

The Brightline safety improvement should be complete by next year.

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