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Woman killed by Brightline train on a preview run identified

MiamiHerald / Boynton Beach Police identified Melissa Lavell as the woman who was fatally struck by a Brightline train Friday night.

Witnesses told police it appeared that the 31-year-old Boynton Beach woman was crossing the tracks in Boynton Beach after the guard rails were down and was on the tracks as the train approached.

The Brightline train was carrying invited guests on a preview ride from downtown Fort Lauderdale to downtown West Palm Beach to show off its high speed services a day before its Saturday introduction to the public. Brightline had spent much of the day giving rides to VIPs, government officials and the media to tout its 33-minute rides between the destinations. No one on the train, which was traveling north and hit Lavell near Northeast Sixth Avenue around 6:25 p.m., was hurt.

Michael Hicks, a spokesman for Brightline, released a statement Friday night: “This is a tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected,” the statement said. “We continue to stress safety and the adherence to the rules and laws in place around active railroads.”

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