Police have identified the driver of an SUV who was killed when his car was hit by a Tri-Rail train in Boca Raton on Saturday as Anthony Carter of Boca Raton.
According to the Boca Raton Police Department, the 49-year-old was driving a 2005 Land Rover over railway tracks in the 1800 block of West Palmetto Park Road when he was hit by the northbound train. Officers say he had exited I-95 onto Palmetto Park Road westbound before he crashed through the downed railroad crossing gate.
It remains unclear whether he had intentionally parked on the tracks or was trying to get away when the train approached. Police say the train could not stop in time to avoid slamming into it. The Land Rover was dragged about 1,000 feet before coming to a stop.
"It seemed like, to me, he just panicked," said one train passenger. "And then when he got ready to go, he just couldn't move."
"He got caught in the middle of it. He got scared," said Novella Rainey.
Another passenger saw the driver after impact.
"It looked like the train knocked him from the driver's side to the passenger's side and he slumped over,” the passenger said. “That's just a horrible way to go."
A witness told Local 10's Christina Vazquez the train hit the vehicle and pushed it across the intersection. Witnesses said the entire train shook after impact, and many feared it would derail.
According to Tri-Rail, no one on board the train was hurt.
Service was disrupted for several hours. Tri-Rail said passengers stuck on the train would be taken by bus to the Boca Raton stop, but bus service for the passengers was also delayed, leaving many fuming.
"Y'all should have had transportation out here for us when this accident happened," one woman said.