UPDATE, 9:53 p.m.: Boynton Beach police say Jeffrey King was headed westbound on Ocean Avenue when he pedaled the bicycle around the gates near the Florida East Coast Railway crossing at Ocean Avenue about 4:30 p.m. He was struck and killed by a northbound Brightline train. City officials told Casello the man “wasn’t even looking just strolling.”
UPDATE, 5:55 p.m.: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking her to investigate the two recent Brightline fatalities and detail what’s being done to address safety at the crossings, according to a statement.
“In Florida, we have seen the challenges of addressing grade crossing safety, where according to 2016 data the state is in the top ten for fatalities and collisions,” the letter reads. “Tragically, this trend is continuing with two recent fatalities in Boynton Beach involving the Brightline high-speed train. While these investigations are ongoing, I urge you to examine these incidents and to review the safety of rail crossings, particularly for higher speed trains.
UPDATE, 5:20 p.m.: The man who was riding a bike when hit and killed by a train was 60 years old, Boynton Beach Commissioner Joe Casello was told by city officials.
Casello was told the train operator said the man “wasn’t even looking just strolling” as the train approached.
At the scene, a backpack lay on the ground where the sidewalk on East Ocean Avenue crosses the tracks. About 50 feet north was what appeared to be a mangled bicycle in the middle of the tracks. A few feet beyond the bicycle and off to the side of the tracks, the man’s body was covered by a yellow tarpaulin.
A block north, the Brightline train was stopped just north of Boynton Beach Boulevard.
“I don’t know if it’s a safety issue or what. I know it does go fast,” said Edwin Dunbar, who lives in a nearby apartment. He did not see the incident, but said that crossing gates have gone down properly whenever he has seen trains go through in the past.
A Brightline spokesperson told The Post that “local authorities are on the scene, and we are engaged with them as they begin their investigation.”
ORIGINAL POST: A man riding a bike was hit and killed by a train in Boynton Beach on Wednesday afternoon, according to police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.
City police are at the FEC tracks at East Ocean Avenue.
It is the second train death from a Brightline train in Boynton Beach in six days. On Friday, Melissa Lavell, 32, was killed by a Brightline train during one of its early runs.
Check back for more information on this breaking news story.
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Jennifer Sorentrue contributed to this report.