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Woman on Foot, on the Tracks, in Indian River County, Struck and Killed by a Brightline Passenger Train Friday Evening

Indian River County - Monday February 19, 2024: A 35-year-old woman on foot was struck and killed by a Brightline passenger train Friday evening in Indian River County.

The Indian River County Sheriff's Office (IRCSO) reports that it happened just after 7 p.m. at the 4th Street railroad crossing just West of US Highway 1, and immediately south of Vero Beach. The woman's body was recovered about 100 yards north of that crossing.

IRCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Kevin Jaworski has identified the woman as Emily Kayser. It is not known why she was on the tracks, on foot.

She is the second person to be killed after being hit by a Brightline train in Indian River County. Around 10 p.m. on Monday, January 29th, a 30-year-old man walking on the tracks east of the 1800 block of Old Dixie Highway Southwest, was the first person hit and killed by a Brightline passenger train in the County.

'The Alliance for Safe Trains', a citizen advocacy group has been keeping track of all the Brightline related deaths since the rail carrier began operations in 2018. According to their count, Kayser's death raises the total number of deaths to 109. Some were on foot, some were in their cars when they were hit. Virtually all occurred at, or near, at-grade crossings, along the un-fenced portions of the Florida East Coast Railway (ECR) tracks used by Brightline.

In many of the cases, authorities have concluded that the deaths were suicides. Still, as a result, Brightline is listed as the deadliest rail carrier in the county, according to Federal Railroad Administration data.