Dear Mr. Fitzgerald:
This is in regard to the tragic death of Veronica Vorano when she was hit by a Brightline train on a public grade crossing in Aventura on November 15, 2019.
Attached is a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao wherein we outline our concerns with respect to the investigation of this fatality.
We have been advised by Kim Likens of FDOT that your department is responsible for investigations: “After having an opportunity to review your correspondence, we have referred your concerns to the Department’s Freight & Multimodal Operations management for review and action deemed appropriate.”
The Ives dairy crossing where Ms. Vorono was killed is one of the worst our investigator has ever seen from a configuration standpoint. His video shows Florida FOT should be embarrassed at the least, and quite possibly held accountable in her death.
While we understand the FRA does not investigate railroad deaths of one or two people, this fatality deserves your attention.
We note that Per Florida Statute 341.302, the Department is directed to address the opening and closing of public grade crossings as part of the duties and responsibilities…
I have referenced your Department’s Organization Guide and on page 22 Brightline is not even listed.
Florida railroad contacts on your site don’t include Brightline and the Railroad System doesn’t include Brightline.
Your Document Rule.14-57.012 was written several years before Brightline.
Wouldn’t it have been your department’s responsibility to evaluate the Ives dairy crossing where Ms. Vorono was killed from a configuration standpoint before Brightline was allowed to use the tracks as they do now?
Veronica’s death was not a suicide. She was an upstanding young woman.
I look forward to your response on this matter.
Thomas Hardy, Publisher
Veronica Vorano dies after Brightline train slams into her SUV in Aventura, Florida.