Scooter driver dies when she hits Brightline train
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A female scooter driver died when she swerved around lowered crossing barriers and hit a passing Brightline train, the latest in a long string of fatalities involving high-speed passenger service , officials said Monday.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said the woman was riding a scooter around 11:20 a.m. Saturday in Pompano Beach when she made a left turn, swerved around the crossing doors and hit the side of the train. She was pronounced dead at the scene. His name and age have not been disclosed.
The woman was the 63rd person known to have died in a collision with a Brightline train since it began operations in mid-2017, giving it the worst death rate per mile in the country, according to an ongoing Associated Press analysis that began in 2019.
Brightline averages about one death for every 33,000 miles (53,100 kilometers) its trains travel. Among railroads that travel at least 100,000 miles (161,000 kilometers) per year, the next worst rate is one fatality per 101,000 miles (161,000 kilometers).
Investigators found that none of the earlier deaths were the railroad’s fault, determining that many were suicides or drivers or pedestrians trying to ram the trains. Trains travel up to 79 mph (127 km/h) through densely populated urban and suburban areas along approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) of track between Miami and West Palm Beach that Brightline shares with the freight line from the east coast of Florida.
Brightline has stepped up efforts to limit fatalities, including installing cameras to alert crews if someone is hiding near the tracks and adding fencing and landscaping to make access to the tracks more difficult.
Brightline is completing a line that will connect West Palm Beach and Orlando at speeds of up to 120 mph (193 km/h). He plans to eventually connect Orlando to Tampa. He is also building a line that will connect Southern California and Las Vegas.
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