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2 injured, 1 escapes unharmed after SUV stops on train tracks in Miami

Thankfully, nobody was killed in the Thursday morning collision in the area of North Miami Avenue and 20th Street.

MIAMI – A Brightline train struck a Ford Explorer SUV Thursday morning that had stopped on the train tracks in Miami, authorities said.

The incident occurred just before 8:30 a.m. in the area of North Miami Avenue and 20th Street.

According to Miami police, one person inside the vehicle was able to get out of the car before the train struck it.

Miami Fire Rescue officials confirmed that two adults inside the vehicle -- an elderly man and his daughter -- were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Two people were injured at the intersection of 20th Street and North Miami Avenue after a collision with a Brightline train.

Officials said the woman and her mother were already out of the vehicle when fire rescue crews arrived.

The elderly man, who authorities said was in the front passenger seat, was removed from the SUV through the liftgate because the safety guard rail had impaled the front windshield of the SUV.

A representative for Brightline said there were no injuries reported aboard the train.

“Whoever was at fault today, always treat a train track like there’s a train coming,” Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez said. “Please don’t try to beat the guardrails, please don’t go over tracks if you see a train coming, thinking you can beat it, because it could be a tragedy. This accident today, they were very lucky.”

Miami Police Officer Kiara Delva said detectives are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

“We ask that anyone who perhaps saw something come forward and provide us with this information,” she said.

(City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue)

The crash comes exactly two weeks after a man and his sister were killed by a Brightline train after authorities said the man drove around the lowered gates.

In that case, authorities said Marc Charleus, 68, was driving his sister, Veronique Chaleus, 58, to work when he went around the gates as the train was approaching.

They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “the two leading causes of rail-related death in the U.S. have nothing to do with operating or riding in a train. Instead, hundreds of people lose their lives every year on train tracks due to trespassing or suicide.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meanwhile, reports that “The number of drivers going around lowered gates has increased in recent years.”

(City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue)

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."