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Ten people have died after being hit by Brightline trains since test runs were done in July 2017, with at least half of the deaths ruled suicides.
The most recent death happened over Thanksgiving weekend in Hollywood.
In seven of the 10 fatalities, the victims were under the influence of substances from alcohol to heroin. The autopsy on one victim is pending and no blood tests were available.
The higher-speed train travels through several Florida cities, with stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Critics say that by following the Florida East Coast Railroad corridor, the trains cross dozens of busy intersections and travel along tracks that for decades have been used by lumbering freight trains that travelled roughly half the speed of Brightline’s locomotives. Brightline speeds reach up to 79 miles per hour in South Florida.
In two cases, the victims apparently misjudged Brightline’s speed. In one, a woman ducked under the rail gate trying to beat the train, police said. In another, a man riding his bicycle to work passed through a closed gate and was struck.
The route also takes trains through south Palm Beach County, where there are many sober homes that help recovering addicts. Six of the deaths occurred in that area.
This article first appeared on www.sun-sentinel.com
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