Since the yellow Brightline trains began test runs in South Florida in 2017, there have been more than a dozen pedestrians killed. Florida came in sixth in a ranking of states with the highest number of railway crossing accidents. Between 2014 and 2018 there were 462 reported railroad-related accidents. Nearly 16% of these accidents resulted in a fatality and 25% resulted in injuries. In a three year period, there were 76 fatalities involving the high-speed Brightline rail that travels between Miami and Jacksonville. Most of the fatal accidents involved pedestrians. The primary reason for both pedestrian and motor vehicle involved accidents was failing to stop at a railway crossing.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that the driver killed in a collision with a Brightline train has been identified. The collision occurred at about 11:27 a.m. on Sunday at the intersection of Northeast 33rd Street and North Dixie Highway. The driver of an SUV, identified as 46-year-old Wisly Isma, drove his vehicle into the path of the Brightline train. The intersection is also the site where a bicyclist was killed a week prior.
Investigators and several witnesses say that Isma initially stopped at the crossing, waiting for the train to approach. He then drove his vehicle onto the tracks into the path of the oncoming train. According to investigators, the red lights were flashing, the warning bells were sounding, and the crossing arms were lowered. All other safety equipment was also operational.
The engineer was unable to stop the train in time to avoid the collision. Isma was pronounced dead at the scene.