Train kills one person on first day of Orlando service

Train kills one person on first day of Orlando service

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DELRAY BEACH — A pedestrian was struck by a Brightline train in Delray Beach early Friday, minutes before the inaugural train of high-speed rail service left Miami for Orlando International Airport in its long-planned extension to Central Florida.

Delray Beach police learned of the incident shortly after 6:15 a.m., department spokesman Ted White said. It happened on the southbound lanes of Southeast Second Avenue and Southeast Fourth Street, about a half-mile south of downtown. The train had left West Palm Beach station minutes earlier.

Authorities did not immediately identify the person who died.

The wreck had no impact on northbound Brightline service from Miami to Orlando.

Bright Line removed the train that struck the pedestrian from the collision area shortly before 9 a.m., White said. Earlier, it loaded its passengers onto another train, which soon left the area heading to Miami.

It was not clear how many passengers were on board the Bright Line train that collided with the pedestrians. The railroad did not return calls seeking comment Friday.

The death was at least the sixth among pedestrians and Brightline trains in Palm Beach County this year, and the fourth in Delray Beach. Two people died on February 8 and another on June 5. Additional deaths occurred on January 21 in Boca Raton and May 12 in Lake Worth Beach.

Friday’s accident was the 28th Brightline train fatality in Palm Beach County overall, according to Palm Beach Post records. The first occurred during the train’s trial run in 2017, and the rest have occurred since the company began passenger service in January 2018.

The Associated Press reported Friday that there have been 98 deaths between Miami and West Palm Beach since passenger service began. The news organization relies on the aggregate of its ongoing analysis of federal train accident data since 2019.

Bright Line Deaths: Friday’s death on the Delray tracks was the 28th of a Brightline train in Palm Beach County

Brightline uses FEC rail lines in Palm Beach County, which have few barriers for pedestrians walking along or crossing them. Bright Line officials indicated that the deaths included either pedestrians walking on the tracks or motorists trying to overtake the trains.

Railroads and local governments have launched several efforts to warn people walking or driving near the tracks to stay aware of trains.

Tom Elia is editor of the Palm Beach Post, overseeing coverage of public safety, courts and the northern and western communities of Palm Beach County. You can access it at Support local journalism: Subscribe today.

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