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Driver Dead After Jeep Hit By Brightline Train In Hollywood

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A driver who was hospitalized Tuesday after his Jeep was struck by a Brightline train in Hollywood has died.

It happened near North Dixie Highway and Garfield Street.

Brightline said at the time of the crash, the gates were down but the individual drove around them.

On Monday, 27-year-old Jacob Bresnahan was killed after his vehicle was struck by a Brightline train in Pompano Beach.

Brightline said the gates were down signaling an oncoming train and Breshnahan drove around them.

The higher speed rail carrier said it's important for drivers to remember not to drive around gates in the down position, never try and beat a train, and on active railroad tracks, trains can approach from either direction.

The most recent 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.

However, the deaths involving Brightline have not 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 through densely populated areas between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Brightline has installed infrared detectors that will warn engineers if anyone is lurking near the tracks so they can slow down or stop. The company has added more fencing and landscaping to make track access more difficult and is also installing red-light cameras at crossings that will allow police to ticket drivers who go around guardrails. It is testing drones to monitor the tracks.

Brightline and the Florida East Coast Railway are also teaming up with the state to prevent crashes along the railroad tracks. A new $45 million plan has been built to boost public safety. Both companies along with the state's transportation department are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to foot $20 million of the bill.

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