OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - At least four people were injured after, officials said, a Tri-Rail train struck a car, triggering a chain-reaction crash involving several vehicles in Opa-locka.
About five vehicles were left damaged due to the impact, near Northwest 135th Street and 37th Avenue, Tuesday afternoon, just before the evening commute.
A black Chevy Suburban was on the tracks when, investigators said, the train arrived and plowed into the back of the SUV.
“I hear the train getting closer. I close my eyes and hoped for the best,” said victim Nicole Mirin, whose Toyota RAV4 was wrecked in the crash.
At least four people were hurt. Three were transported by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in stable condition. According to Opa-locka Police Chief James Dobson, about eight to 10 people were involved.
The train was traveling southbound. The northbound track, which was not affected, remained in operation.
About 200 people were inside the Tri-Rail train at the time of the crash. No injuries were reported on board.
Cellphone video captured crews tending to victims prior to transporting them.
“Eight to 10 passengers out of a total of five vehicles. Only three transported,” Dobson said. “Beyond a miracle. I’ve never seen this, with that type of crash, with this vehicle, it’s a miracle that we don’t have a fatality here today.”
Mirin described the order in which vehicles were struck. “The black car hit the yellow car, the yellow car hit the orange car, I hit the one in front of me,” she said.
When asked how fortunate she feels, Mirin, who bruised her arm, replied, “Something’s taking care of me.”
Another man agreed with the chief. “It was a miracle. It was absolutely a miracle,” he said. “Because a train coming towards us, and it’s about to hit. I mean, thank God the black car that was actually affected, nothing happened to them.”
But for Mirin, it’s going to take some time before she doesn’t flinch at the sound of a train horn. “I don’t like loud noises already as it is,” she said.
The roadway on 135th Street was blocked off by Opa-locka Police between Sesame Street and the Douglas/LeJeune Road Connector. It has since been reopened.
The police chief said the driver of the Chevy Suburban was cited for the crash. That person was one of the drivers transported to the hospital.
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