Police: Pedestrian struck by Brightline train in Wilton Manors acted on purpose

WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) - - Police and Brightline officials said newly-released surveillance video confirms a man who walked past the gates at train tracks in Wilton Manors and onto the path of one of the high-speed trains did so deliberately.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the crash near Northeast 12th Avenue and 24th Street, Thursday evening.

Paramedics transported the victim to Broward Health Medical Center with a broken arm. He is expected to be OK.

In the case of Thursday’s collision, officials said, surveillance video from a nearby business appears to show a man crossing the tracks with the gates down and the lights flashing. Moments later, the train is seen coming to a complete stop.

“The patient was lying in the middle of the tracks, still underneath the train, and was asking for help,” said Fort Lauderdale Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan.

But in a statement released Friday, a Brightline spokesperson said the pedestrian acted on purpose. “Based on witness reports, this was an intentional act by an individual who laid on the tracks before the train approached. We appreciate the work of our team and first responders who acted quickly to remove him safely.”

This is the sixth person struck by a Brightline train since the rail line began testing last year. Four of those accidents were fatal.

Jeffrey King was fatally struck in Boynton Beach after, officials said, he was seen on surveillance video riding his bicycle past the gates while its lights were flashing.

Another man was killed in Boynton Beach, and someone was seriously injured in Fort Lauderdale.

Speaking at a news conference last month, Brightline CEO Patrick Goddard said the key to safety is education.

“Rail safety for passengers and pedestrians is a topic that should be important to us all,” he said. “At Brightline, it’s our number one priority.”

Officials said it begins with obeying lights and gates and never trying to outrun a train.

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