Sun Sentinel: Wrong turn lands woman in path of Brightline train

Posted on September 19, 2018

By: Wayne K. Roustan, Amy Beth Bennett and Linda Trischitta, Sun Sentinel

An early morning drive put a woman on a perilous path with a fast-moving train. She was able to escape to safety. But the car she was driving? Not so much.

The Brightline higher-speed passenger train crushed the woman’s car at a railroad crossing on Pembroke Road at Dixie Highway in Hallandale Beach at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The woman, Margarita Hall, 65, of Hollywood, had been driving west on Pembroke Road and thought she was turning south onto Dixie Highway, Hallandale Beach Police Sgt. Aaron Smith said.

Instead, Hall turned onto the railroad tracks and continued driving her 2019 Toyota Scion iM.

Hall tried to maneuver the Toyota off the tracks, but “at some point, the car became wedged between the rails,” Smith said.

A city official praised Hall’s calm reaction to her predicament.

“She was smart, she called 911, explained to them what happened, and in the process was literally on the phone with the dispatcher saying that a train is coming,” Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue Chief Mark Ellis said. “So, she got out of the car, left the car where it was and, of course, the train hit the car.

“Aside from being shaken up, she’s doing fine,” Ellis said. “There were no injuries on the train, she was not injured either, so we are very fortunate in this particular circumstance.”

The southbound train pushed the Toyota 500 feet along the tracks, Smith said. Photographs show the nose of the train filling the car’s passenger compartment.

“The Brightline engineer sees her, but due to speed and distance, he can’t stop the train,” Smith said.

Hall was alone in her car before the collision that could have been much worse. The Toyota was totaled, authorities said…

Click here to view original article