DANIA BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The driver of a car that was hit by a Brightline train in Dania Beach with her child on board blamed a faulty gate for the close call, but witnesses said the arms were down at the time.
Quindlyn Rogers said she’s thankful she and her 7-year-old daughter weren’t hurt in the Monday morning crash at the West Dixie Highway crossover, just north of Sheridan Street.
“I realized there was a problem when I looked to the left, and I seen the train coming,” she said.
Rogers said that if her vehicle had been further on the tracks, they would have been killed.
“My heart had stopped, and I was panicking. The damn car was going like this,” she said as she moved her hand in a weaving motion. “I think it was going to flip over, and I think I was going to get dragged by the train.”
The Brightline train sliced off the front part of the white sedan.
Rogers said the crews working on the crossing didn’t warn her a train was coming, adding that the gate wasn’t working properly.
“Nobody gave me no indication, ‘Stop, ma’am. Don’t go,'” she said. “That track sign was not down.”
But crews working on the crossing said one of them did warn her.
“She stopped right on top of the track, because one of our guys on the other side told her to stop,” said worker Carlos Aragunde.
Aragunde said the crossing gate arms were operational.
“The gates were down because the train was coming,” he said.
Aragunde described the sheer force of the train slamming into the car.
“The train was coming so fast that when they crash like that, the debris flies far and hard,” he said. “It flew right by my head, it fell over across the street.”
This is the latest in a series of recent crashes involving Brightline trains, with 64 people killed over the past three years after, authorities said, they tried to beat the train.
Rogers said she’s grateful she and her daughter are a different kind of statistic: survivors.
“I was scared, and thank God that I’m here,” she said.
Spokespeople with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Brightline said everything was working properly.
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