HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Video has been released of a Brightline train crashing into a small SUV in Hallandale Beach.
Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue responded to the scene at Pembroke Road and North Dixie Highway, Wednesday morning.
According to investigators, 65-year-old Margarita Hall was behind the wheel and made a wrong turn off Pembroke Road, thinking she was turning onto North Dixie Highway. Instead, she ended up stuck on the tracks.
“When she made this mistake, there was no train coming. She was just heading down Pembroke Road and made a wrong turn onto the tracks,” said said Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue Chief Mark Ellis.
Surveillance cameras from a nearby business was recording as the car came to a stop on the rails.
“She was smart, she called 911, explained to them what happened, and in the process, was literally on the phone with the dispatcher, saying that a train was coming,” said Ellis.
Moments before, another caller spoke with 911 to get help.
“There’s a lady. Her car is stuck on the tracks. I’m so scared for her. There’s a guy there with her. I don’t know if there’s kids in the car,” said the 911 caller.
When the driver saw the train coming in the distance, she quickly fled her vehicle. However, the SUV was completely destroyed.
“They are big, heavy, solid steel pieces of equipment,” Ellis said, “and cars stand no chance. It’s the equivalence of a semi-truck running over a can.”
Ellis said aside from Hall being shaken up, she’s doing fine.
She told 7News that she thanks God she was able to get out of the vehicle in time.
The Brightline system experienced some delays, but the wreckage from the SUV has since been cleared from the tracks.
This is not the first incident involving a Brightline train. Since the train came to South Florida, several incidents have been reported.
“We do see the trains coming in at much greater speeds than what the trains usually come through at,” Ellis said. “That’s what, I think, catches drivers off guard because the trains are very quiet, and they come through very fast, and people are unable to really understand how fast a train’s coming.”
There were 26 passengers on board the train at the time. They were later put onto another train bound for Miami.
No one was injured.
Ellis also hopes this incident serves as a warning for others to avoid being on the tracks.
“To this day, I can’t sleep. I’m scared. I’m a very sick woman,” Hall said.
Service has since been restored after the incident occurred.
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