On Thursday, a Florida high-speed passenger train service saw its first fatality on its new extension line to Orlando when a pedestrian was killed in what appears to be a suicide, according to the officials.
The suicide was the company’s 99th fatal accident overall.
A northbound Brightline train headed to Orlando struck a man in his twenties just before nine in the morning near Fort Pierce on the Atlantic Coast, according to statements from St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara at a news conference. He stated that the individual was homeless and that it appeared as though he had purposefully walked in front of the train.
Trains operated by Brightline move at maximum speeds of 79 miles per hour (127 kilometers per hour) in urban areas, 110 miles per hour (177 kilometers per hour) in less-populated parts, and 125 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour) in the farmland of central Florida. According to Mascara, the speed at which this train traveled is unknown.
On Friday, Brightline opened its extension between Miami and Orlando; however, the joy was dampened when a pedestrian was hit by one of the company’s trains carrying commuters from West Palm Beach to Miami.
According to an ongoing examination by the Associated Press of federal statistics that began in 2019, Brightline trains have had the highest death rate in the United States from the beginning of their Miami-West Palm operations. This death rate is approximately one death for every 32,000 miles (51,500 kilometers) that Brightline trains travel. One person is killed on the next-worst central railroad once every 130,000 miles (or 309,200 kilometers).
It has been determined that Brightline was not responsible for any of the deaths that have occurred in the past; most of these deaths have resulted from people killing themselves, drivers who disobey crossing gates, or pedestrians who dash across the lines.
Brightline has implemented measures that its leadership believes would improve safety. These measures include the installation of closed-circuit cameras along the tracks, the improvement of crossing gates and pedestrian barriers, and the posting of signage that contains the suicide prevention hotline.
Brightline is the only privately owned intercity passenger rail line in America. They began operations in 2018.