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Police ID couple killed by Brightline train while SUV stopped on tracks in Delray Beach

Elderly couple in Nissan Rogue struck by southbound Brightline train, moments after northbound freight train passes
Police shine light at SUV on its side on tracks after fatal Brightline crash in Delray Beach, Feb. 8, 2023
Posted at 11:47 AM, Feb 17, 2023

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Police have identified the couple who were killed when their SUV stopped on the railroad tracks and was struck by a Brightline train last week in Delray Beach.

Delray Beach police spokesman Ted White identified the victims as Arthur Jacobson, 82, and Bette Jacobson, 77.

The crash occurred on the evening of Feb. 8 along the railroad tracks at Lindell Boulevard and Old Dixie Highway.

Witnesses told police they saw the Nissan Rogue stopped on the easternmost track with the crossing gates down as a northbound freight train passed the SUV on the westernmost track.

Railroad crossing at Lindell Boulevard and Old Dixie Highway in Delray Beach, day after fatal Brightline train crash, Feb. 9, 2023
This railroad crossing at Lindell Boulevard and Old Dixie Highway illustrates how the northbound and southbound tracks are separated but within the crossing gates, Feb. 9, 2023, one day after a Brightline train struck a vehicle stopped on the southbound tracks, killing two people, in Delray Beach, Fla.

Seconds later, however, a southbound Brightline train on the easternmost track struck the SUV, killing the couple.

White said there was no evidence to suggest that alcohol played a factor in the crash.

The couple was originally from Connecticut and typically spent their summers in Palm Beach County, according to their neighbors at Kings Point.

Neighbors also told WPTV the couple touched countless lives and were always willing to help others.

They were regulars at Taso's Greek Taverna, a family-owned restaurant in Delray Beach.

The owner, Taso Katechis, said he first met Arthur Jacobson in 1998 when the restaurant opened, and they had been close friends ever since.

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"I think it was two weeks ago that he came in here with his wife and another couple, and I was hoping to see him next week, like this week," Katechis said. "So when I heard (about the crash), it was the worst thing (that) ever happened."

Neighbors and friends will come together this weekend for a unique memorial service to honor the Jacobsons. It will be held Sunday at the clubhouse in Kings Point.

Police continue to investigate the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.