After a Tri-Rail train struck it near Sixth Avenue, a disabled city garbage truck was cut in half.
Just before 7 a.m., the garbage truck stopped on the tracks. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the driver managed to get away just in time for the train to strike.
The northbound train carrying 80-90 passengers crashed into the cabs of garbage trucks, carrying the truck’s rear 300 yards before it came to a complete stop.
According to passengers, they felt jolted forward after the impact. Capt. Albert Borroto of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.
Just after the accident, debris from the wrecked garbage truck littered roads and railroad tracks.
Investigators discovered that the front Tri-Rail car had been completely derail and was slightly tilted on its side.
At 8:20 a.m., the passengers were removed from the train and transferred to buses.
According to Bonnie Arnold, Tri-Rail’s public information officer, the crash caused significant delays in Tri-Rail route operations throughout the day.
Arnold stated that there was “significant damage to the tracks, the signal system”, at 9:59 a.m.
Additionally, the tilted Cab car sustained significant damage in the crash.
People were taken by bus from one station to the next to continue their journeys by Tri-Rail.
Arnold stated that some routes were delayed for as long as two hours. “Some routes were canceled entirely.”
Amtrak passengers who were traveling from New York to West Palm Beach reported that they were left stranded Monday night due to the crash.
Amtrak Train 97, which runs from New York to Miami, was stopped at 4:45 p.m. as its crew waited for the railroad’s clearance. She said that the tracks were cleared and that service was resumed around 8 p.m. with 182 passengers.
Some passengers complained that they felt frustrated by the lack of information during their wait.
“There has been no communication. None of the staff have come out. “We’re just sitting there like sitting ducks,” Diane Tavares, an ex-New Yorker who moved to South Florida recently.
Michael Bornstein, Lake Worth City Manager, stated that the pieces of the garbage truck were taken to a yard for further investigation. The reason why the truck stopped on its tracks is not clear.
Bornstein stated that the driver tried to start the garbage truck, worth approximately $150,000, several times while the guard gates were moving up and down. Bornstein said that he was able to get out the truck “just in-time.”
Bornstein stated that they were grateful that Bornstein was not hurt and that no one was killed or seriously injured. “We will continue to investigate the incident and learn more as we go.”