After freight train passes, SUV stopped on tracks struck by Brightline train

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 3:55 PM EST
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A couple was killed Wednesday night in Delray Beach when their SUV was struck by an oncoming Brightline train, just moments after a freight train traveling the opposite direction passed, police told WPTV on Thursday.

The crash occurred about 8 p.m. on the railroad tracks at the intersection of Lindell Boulevard and Old Dixie Highway.

Witnesses said the vehicle was on the tracks when it was struck by the southbound train.

Delray Beach police spokesman Ted White said traffic homicide investigators believe the SUV stopped on the southbound tracks while the crossing gates were down until the northbound freight train had passed. However, the driver apparently didn't see the southbound Brightline train, which slammed into the vehicle.

White said both people in the vehicle died at the scene.

A passenger on the Brightline train described the situation to WFLX.

"We didn't feel a thing. I can't believe we didn't feel a thing," Tiffanie Artigas said. "Right about when we got to Delray, the train came to a stop and didn't know why it stopped. And then I heard a siren and I said to my husband, 'Does that sound like a siren?' And he said, 'Yes.' Then an announcement came on from Brightline. They mentioned that there was a collision."

Artigas said they were ushered off their train and boarded another Brightline train that later arrived to take them to Miami.

Brightline has begun testing trains at 110 mph along the Treasure Coast as it prepares for its Orlando expansion, which is set to open later this year. Testing in Palm Beach County will begin Saturday and continue through March.

The identities of the victims haven't been released.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating this incident.

Brightline has not replied to WFLX’s inquiries seeking comment.

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