Police: Train collision leaves 1 dead in Hollywood

Brightline: As train approached, person made no attempts to move

By Roy Ramos - Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A Brightline train struck and killed a person in Broward County's city of Hollywood on Friday night, according to authorities. 

The private high-speed passenger train came to a halt for about an hour at the intersection of Fillmore Street and North Dixie Highway in the North Central Hollywood neighborhood. 

As the investigation continued, Ben Porritt, a Brightline spokesman, said the person, who was in the path of the train, made no attempts to move out of the way. 

The safety of the high-speed train at intersections in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties has been the subject of legislative discussions and lawsuits. Since Brightline began trial runs last year, the trains have killed several people and destroyed vehicles.

It's unclear how many of the incidents were attributed to suicides or recklessness. Porritt disagrees and claims that Brightline has never been at fault in any of these incidents, which he claims were all suicides or drug related. 

"Every incident has been the result of a trespasser which is illegal," Porritt wrote in an e-mail. "This has nothing to do with intersections. This was between crossings."

RECENT INCIDENTS

Earlier this week, a Brightline train struck a pedestrian near Lantana in Palm Beach County. 

In August, a train struck a man in Fort Lauderdale.

In June, a Brightline train struck and killed Christopher Bailey in Boynton Beach.

In April, a Brightline train struck a man in Delray Beach. 

In September, a Brightline train struck Margarita Hall's vehicle when she said she made a wrong turn and the tires of her car got stuck on the tracks in Hallandale Beach.

In October, a Brightline train struck a pickup truck in Dania Beach and a car in Pompano Beach

In August, a Brightline train struck a 94-year-old man's car in Pompano Beach. 

CONCERNS

State officials recently expressed safety concerns about Brightline, now Virgin Trains USA service, which is a partnership with Richard Branson's Virgin Group. 

In a 159-page report from the Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, there was criticism about a need for "harsher" penalties for pedestrians who trespass on crossings. 

The Florida Department of Transportation "lacks an analytical methodology for determining which crossings should be consolidated" the report says Porritt said the study didn't single out Brightline. 

"It was a study about FDOT and passenger rail, which includes Tri-Rail, Sun Rail and Amtrak," Porritt said. 

 

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