Officials expected to beef up patrols at SunRail crossings



MAITLAND, Fla. - Video released Thursday shows a SunRail train hitting a car stalled on the tracks in Maitland just as the car's driver jumped to safety.

In several videos from cameras placed on the train's engine, the conductor can be heard sounding the horn a number of times just before the train hit the car, which had stalled on the tracks at Packwood and Maitland avenues Monday afternoon.

The 28-year-old woman told investigators she was just learning to drive the new stick-shift vehicle when it stalled on the tracks.

In the video, the woman can be seen jumping from the car just as the train makes impact. The woman suffered minor injuries when she was hit by her own car.

Witnesses said the woman was only able to get out of her car after someone behind her honked the horn to warn her of the oncoming train.

The crash was the second involving a SunRail train since it began running earlier this month.

The Florida Department of Transportation said it will continue to educate the public about driver safety at train crossings.

Officials also said they will step up law enforcement at crossings to prevent any more accidents.

“The public needs to understand that these railroad crossings could change at any second,” said FDOT spokesperson Steve Olson. “We are going to enter into an agreement with the Florida Highway Patrol, and we are going to have some troopers patrolling crossings in morning and afternoon peak travel times.”

Skywitness 9 HD was over the tracks as car after car tried to beat the train Thursday.

“I think it’s your own responsibility if you try to beat it, not SunRail’s fault,” said driver Tom Shugart.

Other drivers WFTV spoke to agreed.

“Your life is more important than beating the train,” said driver Barbara Hunter.

FHP troopers are expected to start monitoring crossings next week.