(Lake Worth, Florida – January 4, 2016)
At least 22 passengers were injured Monday morning about 9:30 A.M., EST when a Florida Tri-Rail passenger train hit and demolished a city garbage truck that had become stalled at the notorious Florida East Coast Railway 6th Avenue South crossing in Lake Worth, Florida.
The unidentified driver of the city of Lake Worth-owned garbage truck jumped to safety only seconds before the Boynton, FL-bound train hit it on the front portion, separated it from the load, and dragged the truck’s rear a considerable distance before the train finally came to a halt. The forward car of the train, a push-pull operation with the locomotive at the rear of the train, derailed and tilted in the impact.
Florida Tri-Rail Public Information Officer Bonnie Arnold confirmed that “There was significant damage to the tracks and the signal system,” and the force of the impact forced many passengers out of their seats, she told The Palm Beach Post’s Lulu Ramadan. “We have a crane on the way (to upright and re-rail the derailed equipment), but it’s going to take several hours to get back there,” she added.
Regardless of the presence of extensive active signalization, the crossing’s Federal Railroad Administration-recorded history has displayed problems at the site. Monday morning’s crash was the seventh to occur there and earlier collisions have resulted in four fatal injuries.