Amtrak train hits side of car in Pembroke Park

Conductor manages to halt train after car stopped on tracks

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – An Amtrak train was stopped on the tracks in Pembroke Park for a few hours Thursday morning after hitting a car, but the driver wasn't seriously injured.

The collision occurred about 8:40 a.m. on Pembroke Road near Interstate 95.

Witnesses told Local 10 News that the silver Hyundai stopped on the tracks as the train was approaching. They said the driver was understandably shaken and panicked.

"She was in terrible panic -- screaming," a nearby construction worker said.

He said the woman drove on the tracks despite the warning bells, lights and striped arms. He said the train conductor screeched to a halt, hitting the passenger side of the car.

"I thought he was going to run her over ... (but) that man is a hero," the worker said.

He described the narrow disaster as "a miracle."

The car was eventually towed away and Pembroke Road was reopened to traffic.

An Amtrak spokeswoman said the train, which was traveling from Miami to New York, was delayed for two hours after the crash.

The Broward Sheriff's Office said Margarita Garcia, 50, was cited for texting while driving and failure to obey a railroad crossing. She complained of back pains and was taken to a hospital to be treated.

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