UPDATE: Boynton Beach Police identify woman fatally struck by Brightline train 


UPDATE 9:10 a.m.: Boynton Beach Police said Melissa Lavell, 32, was fatally struck by the Brightline train Friday night. 

Witnesses told police that Lavell appeared to be crossing the tracks after the guard rails were in the down position in an attempt to make it across before the train came. 

The train was traveling north on the Florida East Coast Railway when it struck the woman at 6:25 p.m. near Northeast Sixth Avenue. It is unclear what the woman was doing on the tracks, according to Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Jaclyn Smith.

There were passengers on the train, but no one was injured, Smith said. Brightline was offering invitation-only rides to reporters, politicians and others on Friday. After the crash, passengers were taken by bus to West Palm Beach.

A company source said that grade crossing warning devices at the scene of the incident were working properly when the woman was struck.

The fatality was the second for a Brightline train in Palm Beach County since July 24, when an 18-year-old woman was killed in Boca Raton. Her death was ruled a suicide.

A Brightline train was involved in another fatal crash Nov. 1 in Deerfield Beach. There were no passengers on the train when it struck and killed a 35-year-old woman.

Brightline will carry its first paying customers on Saturday with the first train departing the West Palm Beach station at 8 a.m. The railroad plans to extend service to Miami later this year and run 16 daily round trips between Miami and Orlando International Airport.



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