‘I’m lucky to be alive’: Woman discusses surviving crash with Brightline train

It’s a story that has unfortunately become far too common, one where sadly, the outcome is often fatal.

AVENTURA, Fla. – It’s a story that has unfortunately become far too common, one where sadly, the outcome is often fatal.

In this particular case, the driver whose car was struck by a Brightline train survived.

That woman spoke to Local 10 News from her hospital bed about how it happened.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” said Amy Charal.

Video of the crash shows Charal behind the wheel of a silver Nissan Altima sedan.

She drove around a white SUV and onto the train tracks near Dixie Highway and the border of Aventura and Hallandale Beach.

That’s where a Brightline train slammed right into her car.

Stunningly, Charal was able to get out of the car on her own.

“There was a whole bunch of bushes, and I can’t see the railroad tracks and I did not see the things go down and I did not hear it go down,” she said. “The light was green, so I started beeping at the guy to go and then he put his arm out and he made the signal, go around, go around, so I assumed he was having car trouble.”

With that in mind, Charal decided to go around the car waiting at the tracks at Dixie Highway and Northeast 215th Street, a move that almost cost her her life.

“So when I proceeded to step on the gas, I stepped on the gas obviously a little firmly to go fast and when I went around the corner and I was making my way to the thing, I saw that the things were down and it was already too late for me to do anything,” she explained.

She went against traffic in the westbound lane, where there was no gate.

The impact was so severe it obliterated the front end of her car.

Miraculously, Charal did not sustain any life-threatening injuries. Her body is bruised, and she broke her arm in three places, but she is counting her blessings.

“I didn’t want to die in the car,” she said.

Aventura police said Charal is at fault for the crash. She was issued a citation.

No one else was hurt in the accident.

About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.