SunRail train crashes into car in Maitland; 1 hurt

Woman in car taken to hospital

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

MAITLAND, Fla. - A SunRail train crashed into a car Monday in Maitland, injuring a woman driving the car but no passengers, according to officials.

[PHOTOS:  SunRail crashes into car in Maitland | Do you plan to ride?]

The crash happened at around 2:30 p.m. on Maitland Avenue at Packwood Avenue when the car, which is manually operated, stalled on the tracks, said Maitland Assistant Fire Chief Charles Van Camp.

He said the woman's black Infiniti was trapped in the crossing arms.

"She realized she was in a bad position," Van Camp said. "SunRail was almost on her. She tried to get out of her vehicle and run away from it. At that time, the SunRail hit her."

Van Camp says the woman was struck by some portion of the vehicle, causing her to suffer minor injuries and be taken to the hospital.

A witness took a photo of the victim while she was being treated on the side of the road.

"She was pretty well hurt," said witness Mitchel Kalmanson. "They came over here, back boarded her and moved her."

The four-car SunRail train, headed north from Winter Park, did not derail and departed less than an hour later. Officials said the train was going to offload passengers at the Maitland station and gather contact information from the riders.

No passengers were injured in the crash.

The crash comes on the first day of paid service.  Passengers rode for free from May 1 to May 16.

SunRail was in the works for more than two decades and is the first fixed-rail mass transit system in Central Florida history. More than $1 billion in taxpayer money was used to purchase 61 miles of rail line and all of the other necessities.

SunRail makes 12 stops during its 31.5-mile route, starting in DeBary and ending at the Sand Lake Road location in Orlando. In between, stops are in Sanford, Lake Mary, Longwood, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Winter Park and Orlando, which has four stations.

Initially, the train will operate only on weekdays, coming by every half-hour from 5:30 to 9 a.m., depending on location, and from 3:30 to 7 p.m. It will also run every two hours during the late morning and afternoon, and from 7 to 9 p.m.

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