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Woman, baby escape car before Brightline collision in Delray Beach

Police say woman tried to cross tracks at dead-end street, then claimed someone was after her
car on tracks after Brightline crash in Delray Beach, Feb. 15, 2022
Posted at 7:21 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 17:45:32-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A Brightline train collided with a car Tuesday morning in Delray Beach, the second Brightline train crash in Palm Beach County in three days.

Delray Beach Fire Rescue said a woman and a baby got of the car just before it was hit.

The crash occurred at Southeast 10th Street and Swinton Avenue near Old Dixie Highway. The train was blocking Southwest 10th Street as authorities investigated.

Delray Beach police spokesman Ted White said the 28-year-old mother tried to cross the tracks at a dead-end street. White said the mother then took her 3-month-old daughter and began knocking on doors of nearby homes, telling residents that someone was after her.

Police said the woman, whose identity hasn't been released, was involuntarily hospitalized under Florida's Baker Act law.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was also notified.

"Yes, she had the sense to get out of the vehicle with the child and get off the tracks," said Delray Beach police spokesman Ted White.

White summed up the relief from first responders.

"At some point we believe the car was stuck on the railroad tracks. Mom and child got out of the vehicle, and from our investigation, we determined the mother began knocking several doors in the area telling homeowners that someone was after her."

Another Brightline crash happened less than 20 miles away on Sunday in Lake Worth Beach. One person was killed in that crash.

"Get off the tracks or get killed is essentially the message BrightLine is sending," said Palm Beach Gardens attorney Zedrick Barber, who represents several families who lost loved ones in BrightLine crashes.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently ranked Broward and Palm Beach counties at 4th and 5th for highway rail incidents.

BrightLine is turning to more technology to try and stop drivers ignoring crossings in South Florida, but Barber said more needs to be done.

"There is no reason why we should have direct access via a car, via a bicycle, and in many cases via people on foot to a train track that has trains moving in excess of 78 miles per hour," Barber said.