Tri-Rail hits garbage truck; 22 hurt

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 05:03:56-05

A Tri-Rail train hit a garbage truck Monday morning at 6th Avenue South in Lake Worth, hampering service to Palm Beach County and injuring more than 20 passengers.

Just before 7 a.m., Tri-Rail says the train was heading north when it hit the truck, causing the train's cab to derail. 

RELATED: Pictures from the scene

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said the truck had broken down on the tracks.

Witnesses said passengers on the train hit the floor and windows when the impact occurred.  

"We looked and we saw the light and we all noticed it was an accident," said Jachin Ashterman, of Greenacres.

Capt. Albert Borroto with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said the train was carrying between 80 to 90 passengers at the time of the crash.

Borroto said 22 passengers were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. 

"It was nerve wrecking to me because what if I was on it because, what if other people were on it that got hurt," added Ashterman.

The driver of the garbage truck jumped out of the vehicle right before the crash and was unhurt.   

At 11 a.m., westbound lanes of 6th Avenue South are closed near Interstate 95. 

Tri-Rail said service will be impacted through the evening.

Buses are being used to shuttle passengers between Lake Worth and Boynton Beach.  Trains are delayed about 1.5 hours.

"I'm kind of at the mercy of the train at this point," said Gail Boster, headed to Boca Raton.

Retired veteran, Cary Karas, added, "I can't understand why they don't have ore organization."

The delays made traveling difficult for Karas. A 45 minute ride to the V-A Center in Riviera Beach turned into four hours.

"I have something to do later on, meet somebody, I'm not possibly going to make it," explained Karas.

It was Devante Norfus's first time taking the tri-rail. "When the train showed up, I prayed to God, like please don't let it happen another accident today," he said.

A Tri-Rail spokeswoman says delays are expected until the last trail leaves Miami at 9:40 p.m. and arrives in Mangonia Park around 11:30 p.m.

The tracks are clear for Tuesday's rush hour commute.