A man was hit and killed by a SunRail train near Sanford station Thursday night, but his body was not found until a passing freight-train conductor noticed it Friday morning, Sanford police said.
This is the first death caused by a SunRail train since service began in May, even though there have been some close calls.
The accident led officials to cancel several morning trains, forcing some commuters to make other travel plans.
- Sanford police say freight train hit pedestrian
- SunRail was suspended due to a body being found on tracks in Sanford
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West 1st Street & Riverview Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
The man's name was not released Friday because authorities were still trying to locate his family, said Shannon Cordingly, a spokeswoman for the Sanford police department.
Cordingly said a SunRail train hit the man about 10 p.m. Thursday and a freight-train conductor discovered the body at 5 a.m.
The body was found on the track at First Street and Riverview Avenue.
SunRail spokesman Steve Olson would not say which train hit the man. But Olson did say the last northbound train of the night normally arrives in DeBary at 10:18 p.m.
"This is an active investigation and we are cooperating with Sanford Police," Olson said in an email. He said he couldn't answer other questions about the accident and SunRail's response to it.
SunRail provided police with train-mounted video of the incident, but it is not being released to the public.
The body's discovery prompted a heavy police presence at the accident site.
SunRail service, suspended for more than an hour while authorities investigated the scene, resumed at 7:30 a.m. with a train out of DeBary.
Southbound trains ran slower than normal — about 20 to 30 minutes behind — because of the investigation.
Sanfrod police originally said a freight train ran over the man late Thursday night, but later clarified that it was a SunRail train.
Travel plans disrupted
The DeBary station, which normally has a packed parking lot on weekdays, only had a handful of cars at one point this morning.
Announcements about the suspension were made at the platforms.
Chris Condry, 32, of DeBary said he normally takes SunRail a couple of times a week. Friday morning, he needed the train from his city in southwest Volusia County to make a doctor's appointment in Orlando.
"I called a taxi,'' he said.
That set him back $72.
Troubled week for SunRail
Earlier this week a SunRail train had to use its emergency brakes to avoid hitting a car on the tracks in Orlando, Florida Department of Transportation officials say.
The southbound train missed hitting a white Lexus Thursday morning by about six inches, Olson said. The driver left the scene before police arrived.
The day before, some SunRail trips were delayed or canceled after a motorist made a wrong turn Wednesday morning and drove onto the railroad tracks in downtown Orlando, officials said.
The motorist abandoned the car, which had to be towed off the tracks. Some trains were delayed and others canceled because of that an because of unrelated repairs to the tracks in Winter Park.
Earlier this year a SunRail train plowed into a car that had stalled on the tracks in Maitland. Video from the train showed the driver escaping just moments before impact.
A video released in July shows a SunRail train clipping an SUV that stopped too close to the train tracks in downtown Orlando in June.
The back end of the SUV hadn't completely cleared the tracks before it stopped because of traffic.