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Driver hit, killed by Tri-Rail train in Boca Raton

87-year-old woman killed in crash
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Posted at 9:22 AM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 20:07:04-05

A southbound train hit a vehicle Friday morning in Boca Raton, killing an 87-year-old woman.

According to Bonnie Arnold with Tri-Rail, the incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. at Yamato Road.

RELATED: More photos from the scene

Witnesses said the driver drove through the crossing gate arms, which were in the down position.

The victim was identified as Eunice Bernard of Boca Raton. She was the only person in the car.

No passengers on the train were hurt. 

 

“I looked out, there was a car and bunch of people were running over and I looked out the side of the train and I saw it and it must have spun around, must of barely made it and there’s papers everywhere and the body on the side,” said Tri-Rail passenger Sean Kelleher

Both east and westbound lanes were closed on Yamato Road near the crash, but have since reopened.

Chopper 5 flew over the scene and showed a red Hyundai was hit at the scene with debris strewn across the road.

“It doesn't happen often, but even once is too many,” said Ofc. Sandra Boonenberg from the Boca Raton police services department.

NewsChannel 5 uncovered records that show this is the second car verses train crash in Boca Raton this year. We found another 10 crashes involving trains hitting vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians in Palm Beach County since January 1, 2016.

Crossings have safety mechanisms to prevent crashes. Flashing lights to alert drivers of trains.

Tri-Rail uses stop arms in both lanes of traffic on both sides of the tracks to keep drivers from weaving around them.

While the gates make noise, Tri-Rail trains don't blow their horns at crossings; unless the engineer feels the need.

“It all comes back to pay attention and don't take chances,” Boonenberg stressed.

Police said following the rules of the road and not risking your life is the safest strategy.

Below is an interactive map of crashes involving trains in Palm Beach County.