FHP warns drivers after Brightline trains hit cars 3 times in just 4 days

An onboard Brightline surveillance camera captured a dramatic crash with a car and the heart-stopping moments before it in South Florida.  

Investigators say three times in a matter of four days this week Brightline trains collided with vehicles on their tracks in Palm Beach County. 

"You know, we don't typically see that many trains-versus-vehicle, or pedestrian, crashes in that short time span," Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said.

Lt. Montes said it’s something drivers in Central Florida need to be aware of as Brightline trains are expected to be running through Brevard County and Orange County within the next twelve months. 

"What makes these events so tragic is that they're preventable," said Ben Porritt, senior vice president for corporate affairs at Brightline. "The gates were already down because there was a freight train in the area and a Brightline train in the area. They look a left, went around a car, went around a gate, and that's when the incident occurred."

Lt. Montes said Central Floridians had a bit of a learning curve when SunRail trains started running in 2014. She said drivers were constantly stopping on the tracks and ignoring arm bars or driving around arm bars. That’s a huge gamble and will become a bigger one when Brightline arrives in Central Florida because their trains are high speed.  

"So they are going to be a lot faster, faster than our CSS trains faster than Amtrak faster SunRail," Lt. Montes said.  She’s got a reminder for drivers.  "You're always going to lose, the train is always going to win."

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