UPDATE: Woman killed by Brightline train was with man who made it across


Melissa Lavell, 32, was with a friend Friday night when they tried to beat a Brightline trainand only he made it safely across, according to a Boynton Beach Police report released Wednesday.

As the train approached the crossing at Northeast Sixth Avenue, Brightline engineers Willis Matousek and Geoffrey Kepka saw a man and woman, later identified as Lavell, attempting to cross the train tracks from west to east. The man was in front of Lavell and made it across. As Lavell ran across the tracks, the right side of the front of the train hit her, the report says.

The engineers stopped the train before the crossing at Northeast 10th Avenue and called dispatch.

What happens when a train strikes a pedestrian?

The accident happened at about 6:30 p.m. on the night before Brightline’s opening day.

Officials ruled Lavell’s death accidental.

The report provides no indication that the man stayed at the scene or spoke to investigators there. At the scene of the accident, officers found a pair of Nike sandals and a phone belonging to a man named Rich that Lavell used. A friend told police she saw Lavell leave the house with him.



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