Families of 2 victims killed by Brightline trains file lawsuit against company

Victims' families seek stricter regulations for passenger train service

By Alex Finnie - Reporter

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Several people in South Florida have been killed by Brightline trains, and now, the families of two victims are suing the company.

The families of Paul Sandoval and Jeffrey King are sharing in their grief.

"We still cry when we hear a train go by," King's mother, Shirley Folsom, said.

King was killed in a Brightline accident in January. 

His mother was too distraught to continue at Tuesday's news conference. Just across from her was the Sandoval family, whose son was killed by a Brightline train less than a month ago.

"I called Officer Diplo, who told me my son was deceased. It hit me like a ton of bricks," Sandoval's mother, Amelia Sandoval, said. 

According to the Lantana Police Department, Paul Sandoval was "sitting on the tracks" when the train struck him, opening up the debate over suicide.

So far, Brightline representatives have said there have been 10 fatalities since the company began their test runs in 2017, two of which involved people going around the gates or trying to beat the train and eight of which they attributed to suicides.

"And what makes it worse, adding insult to injury, that this is a problem that is totally preventable," the attorney for both families, Zedrick D. Barber, said. 

The families are calling for stricter regulations for Brightline, but the company says they are in accordance with the law and had safety guards in place when King rode his bicycle around them before being struck.

Barber claims the safety guards were not in place when King was killed, but Brightline maintains that surveillance video proves otherwise.

 


 

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