NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - A Brightline train slammed into an unoccupied SUV in North Miami, and the dramatic crash was captured on cellphone video.
The footage captured the moment the train struck the vehicle on the tracks in the area of 141st Street and Biscayne Boulevard, near a Lexus dealership, just after 5 p.m., Thursday.
North Miami Police units originally responded to a call about a car on the tracks. Officers arrived to find the damaged SUV in a grassy area next to the tracks.
Onlookers watched in horror as the high-speed train approached the empty SUV. Seconds later, the SUV was obliterated.
Video showed debris flying into the air moments after impact.
Fortunately, all occupants were able to exit the vehicle before the train came through.
The railroad crossing arms were down, and all doors of the SUV were open at the moment of impact.
7Skyforce hovered above the mangled SUV just before 6 p.m.
7News cameras captured car parts littered across the tracks.
“You know, it’s like a three-way stop, so maybe she was, like, rushing,” said witness Jahu More, “and she was trying to make that right turn, but she couldn’t, because there was probably a car in front of her.”
No injuries were reported inside the train.
The impact took out the railroad crossing arms and the poles with the warning lights.
Thursday night, 7News cameras captured crews making repairs.
The train did not remain at the scene of the crash.
The crash took place near the entrance of a large apartment complex. Residents were urged to seek an alternate route to reach the complex, but several hours later, traffic was flowing freely.
The crash occurred three days after Brightline received a $25 million grant to install more fences, make bigger markings on the road and put up barriers to prevent drivers from trying to pass the railroad arms. It’s part of a push from the government to make South Florida railroad crossings safer.
Dozens of drivers have been struck, some fatally, in recent years, on South Florida train tracks.
“This is not just a Brightline problem. This is a community problem, and the community needs to come together with Brightline to find solutions,” said Brightline President Patrick Goddard.
Onlookers said the crash serves as a reminder to remain extra cautious and respect the rails at all times.
“I never park on the train tracks,” said More.
The SUV was later towed from the scene.
Brightline trains were up and running again Thursday night.
It remains unclear what prompted the crash, as police continue to investigate.
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