Woman unhurt in Amtrak train crash on Jacksonville's Northside

Woman unhurt in Amtrak train crash on Jacksonville's Northside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Amtrak train carrying more than 200 passengers was heading to Miami when it struck a driver Sunday morning on the northside.

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It happened on West Moncrief Road and Federal Street.

Neighbors told Action News Jax they’re in disbelief that the woman driving the car walked away completely unscathed.

“Wow, that is nothing but the grace of God,” Stephanie Fears said.

Fears and her husband have lived right next to the train tracks on West Moncrief Road for the last eight months.

She says she’s seen a lot of people narrowly avoid being hit.

“The trains really go at a high speed, especially the Amtrak train, and I do see a lot of people trying to beat the train,” she said.

Police say they got a call around 6:30 a.m. about a woman who was driving north on West Moncrief Road toward Federal Street, when, for some reason, she didn’t stop in time for the oncoming Amtrak train.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says the railroad crossing arms were down when the driver approached the tracks.

According to police, the woman struck the Amtrak train and her car spun around.

Both Amtrak and CSX sent Action News Jax statements urging drivers to be cautious around railroad crossings and to pay attention to lowered gates and red flashing signals.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration in 2018, crossing collisions rose by 4.3 percent in the U.S.

There were 2,122 collisions reported in 2017 and 2,214 in 2018.

A spokesperson with Amtrak told us the train was carrying 218 passengers and was traveling from New York to Miami.

None of the passengers onboard were hurt, including the woman, who walked away from her car.

Police say she was dazed and confused but otherwise OK.

“Very lucky to be alive, very lucky,” said Fears.

The train did receive some damage, but it was able to continue on to the Jacksonville Amtrak station where it switched locomotives.

The Amtrak Police Department and JSO are investigating.

JSO tells us deputies were wearing body cameras, and we have requested the footage from this crash.

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