Florida woman struck and killed by brand new high-speed train
A Florida woman was fatally struck by a high-speed train doing preview runs a day before its launch.
Melissa Lavell, 31, was crossing the tracks after the guard rails were lowered in an attempt to make it to the other side before the train arrived, witnesses told police.
The Brightline train was traveling north on the Florida East Coast Railway when it struck the woman at 6:25 p.m. on Jan. 12, Boynton Beach Police said in a statement.
No one on the train was injured, according to authorities.
Rides had been offered to reporters, politicians and others Friday, the Palm Beach Post reported. Passengers were bussed to Palm Beach after the crash.
Brightline said that warning devices at the railroad crossing functioned properly when Lavell was struck.
The high-speed train offered rides to paying customers Saturday with its first train departing the West Palm Beach station for Fort Lauderdale at 8 a.m.
Trains took off on schedule Saturday after the fatality a day earlier.
It took off on time, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Passengers interviewed by the paper were unfazed by the death a day earlier.
“(The) Tri Rail has that same problem so you know I wasn’t too surprised that was going to happen,” said Jupiter resident Matthew Litwin.
“I think people will always do stupid things and that’s a risk and it doesn’t look good from a PR standpoint but you can’t argue with the laws of physics. If you put yourself in front of a train, there’s danger. There’s a risk,” said passenger Elena Postal.
Departures are scheduled every hour and a half in both directions. The train will expand operations south and north to run from Miami to Orlando.
With News Wire Services