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70-Year-Old Woman Hit, Killed By Brightline Train In Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) -- A 70-year-old woman died Monday morning after being hit by a Brightline train in Fort Lauderdale.

It happened at 100 NW 6 Street just after 8:00 a.m.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials say they responded to the railroad crossing for reports of a pedestrian vs. train.

The woman was rushed to Broward Health in critical condition, but later died.

The death is at least the 50th involving a Brightline train since the Miami to West Palm Beach line launched in mid-2017 and there have been several incidents and at least two deaths since it reopened last month after a 19-month closure due to the pandemic.

An Associated Press examination of federal records shows that Brightline has more fatalities per mile than any U.S. railroad, one about every 31,000 miles. Since 2018, an average of about 1,200 people are fatally struck by trains annually in the United States.

None of the 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 through densely populated areas.

Brightline has said in a previous statement that "safety is a topic that we will not stop talking about and we are asking the community, law enforcement, elected officials and members of the media to use their platforms and help amplify a consistent safety message: stay off the tracks and obey all warning signs."

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 also testing drones to monitor the tracks.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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