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Driver recounts what happened before Brightline train slammed into her car

Margarita Hall made call to 911 that likely saved her life

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – A driver's wrong turn led to a dramatic train crash Wednesday morning in Hallandale Beach, but fortunately for her, she had abandoned her car before the impact.

Surveillance video captured the moment a Brightline train crashed into the car, which was stuck on the tracks. The train pushed the car close to 500 feet before coming to a stop. Twisted metal and scattered car parts are all that's left of the silver Toyota.

Margarita Hall, 65, had been behind the wheel. She said she was traveling west on Pembroke Road about 7 a.m. when she turned south on what she thought was Dixie Highway.

"When I felt the car drop, I knew something was wrong, because it started to ride very rough," Hall said.

Hall said before she knew it, she was on the tracks.

"Something happened. It was almost as if I lost visibility," Hall said. "I tried to pass over the tracks, and I got over them, but my back rim was stuck."

That's when Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue said she made a call that saved her life.

"She called 911, explained to them what happened, and in the process of that was literally on the phone of the dispatcher saying that a train is coming," Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Mark Ellis said. "So she got out of the car, left the car where it was and, of course, the train hit the car."

Hall said she was just feet away when the train slammed into her car. For 20 minutes, Hall said, she tried to stop someone to help her.

All 28 passengers aboard the Brightline train were not injured.

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.