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SunRail crash video: Dramatic accident caught on camera

Railway DisastersPublic TransportationPublic Transportation DisastersSunRailFlorida Department of Transportation

Dramatic video released Thursday shows just how narrowly Kristen L. Taylor escaped a train crash that demolished her new sports coupe earlier this week.

Taylor's Infiniti stalled on a railroad crossing in Maitland just before the traffic arms came down Monday afternoon.

Video released Thursday shows Taylor jumping out of her Infiniti a moment before a SunRail commuter train struck and destroyed her car.

Taylor declined to discuss her near-death experience.

In a call to her home near Eatonville, Taylor's mother said, "I almost lost my daughter. Thank God my child's alive."

In the background, Taylor could be heard saying she did not want to speak to reporters.

Police said Taylor, 28, recently bought the Infiniti and was still learning how to drive a stick shift.

Authorities have said Taylor was headed west on Packwood Avenue when the Infiniti stalled. Taylor tried starting the car, but the 145-ton locomotive pulling three passenger cars was about 100 yards away and quickly approaching.

The train slowed from a top speed of 45 mph to 35 mph because it was approaching the Maitland train station.

Attempts to reach train conductor Frederick W. Robillard were unsuccessful Thursday.

A video depicting three angles — two of the crash and one of the train conductor — shows the rear of the Infiniti in the middle of the tracks.

Taylor opened her door and got out of the vehicle seconds before the train slammed into the Infiniti.

"This was an extremely close call," said Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson.

Olson said drivers need to remember a train could come at any moment the crossing arms come down.

"What looks like a clear crossing at one moment could change pretty quickly," he said.

Olson said FDOT has had an aggressive public-safety campaign to warn drivers about railroad safety.

In upcoming weeks, troopers will begin patrolling railroad crossings to look out for drivers who are stopped on the tracks or trying to drive under railroad crossing arms.

"When those gates drop, you've got to be watching," Olson said. "You've got to be careful."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Railway DisastersPublic TransportationPublic Transportation DisastersSunRailFlorida Department of Transportation
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