Brightline train fatally strikes woman in Boynton Beach

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A Brightline higher-speed passenger train offering a VIP ride from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach struck and killed a woman on the tracks in Boynton Beach, Friday evening, authorities said.

According to Boynton Beach Police, the train was traveling north on the Florida East Coast Railway when it struck the pedestrian.

Police were called to the scene at around 6:25 p.m.

Investigators later identified the victim as 32-year-old Melissa Lavell. Witnesses told detectives she was crossing the tracks after the guardrails were in the down position in an attempt to make it across before the train approached.

No one on board the train was injured.

The incident happened hours before the official debut of the route that will take passengers from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach at speeds as high as 70 miles per hour.

A Brightline spokesperson issued a statement, Friday night, that read, “Brightline’s team is cooperating with local authorities. This is a tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We continue to stress safety and the adherence to the rules and laws in place around active railroads.”

The Sun Sentinel reported that the train was sitting on the tracks for several hours as officials investigated.

The death investigation is ongoing at this time.

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