A Florida woman thought she had enough time to outrun an oncoming train and tragically lost her life

Melissa Lavell/Facebook

A Florida woman lost her life when she believed she could cross the tracks in front of an oncoming train.

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According to the Sun-Sentinel, witnesses reported that Melissa Lavell, 32, was trying to make her way across the train tracks in Boyton Beach. The arm guards had already gone down and the Brightline train was already approaching. Still, Lavell decided to make her move.

A passenger on the train said the ride was going smoothly, up until it was forced to make an abrupt stop. The passenger and others were business leaders invited to ride the new rail from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach the night before it was set to make its public debut.

The passengers were informed that the train stopped due to a “trespasser incident.”

The train waited on the tracks for two hours. None of the passengers were injured, and they were bussed for the remainder of their journey.

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“It’s always unfortunate when there’s an accident like that,” Brightline president and COO Patrick Goddard said after the death. “Certainly, safety is our top priority and when these [incidents] occur, as they do, we’re prepared.”

“It’s very important that the community understands how to behave and act around railroads,” he added. “There are laws against [trespassing], and that’s critical.”

Lavell’s death marks the third time someone has been killed by a Brightline train. One of the previous deaths was ruled a suicide.

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