AVENTURA, Fla. — Two people were killed Thursday when their car collided with a high-speed commuter train in South Florida as the driver tried to make it around the crossing gate, authorities said.
According to a statement from Aventura Police Chief Michael Bentolila, the safety gates at the train crossing were lowered at 6 a.m. EST when the driver of a blue Toyota attempted to cross the tracks.
The crossing gate’s lights were flashing and bells were ringing to signal an approaching train, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
#DEVELOPING: Brightline train collides with vehicle in Hallandale Beachhttps://t.co/FOi3duY34k— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) December 30, 2021
Surveillance video from a nearby laundromat captured the incident, WPLG-TV reported. In the video, the Toyota can be seen waiting behind the crossing gates before the driver attempted to drive around them, according to the television station. The car paused on the tracks before it was struck by the Brightline train, which was filled with commuters.
None of the train passengers were injured, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The car was mangled on the other side of the tracks, the newspaper reported.
Police are not releasing the names of the victims until next of kin has been notified, Bentolila said.
“It’s amazing how it ended up over there. It must have been some force because the train you can see is down the tracks a little bit, and the car is here, closer towards the lights,” Steve Samansky, a driver in the area, told WSVN-TV. “It just must have been unbearable.”
Renard Hayes, who lives near the crossing, told WPLG that people trying to beat the trains is a regular occurrence.
“The gates will come down and guys will go right through them and go about their business,” Hayes said.
“This was a tragic event and the direct result of an individual driving around the gates which were down, flashing and bells ringing, signaling an approaching train,” Brightline officials said in a statement.
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