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Woman Dies in Fla. Amtrak Crash

April 2, 1999

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ An Amtrak passenger train slammed into a car that was pushed into its path, killing an 18-year-old passenger in the car’s back seat and injuring five other people.

No injuries were reported among the Amtrak Silver Meteor’s 128 passengers or crew, heading to Miami from New York.

Jennifer Fuente was unable to get out before the train slammed into the 1988 Oldsmobile, pushing it about 2,000 feet down the tracks, authorities said.

The car had stopped for flashing lights at a railroad crossing Thursday night when another car rammed it from behind, spinning the vehicle onto the tracks, where it stalled, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The second car continued across the tracks and through the crossing.

Two people in the rammed car were injured when they jumped out as it came to a halt. The driver, 22-year-old Michelle Fuente, suffered minor injuries and a passenger, 18-year-old Caroline Taveras, was seriously injured, authorities said. Ms. Taveras was listed in fair condition today.

``The vehicle itself is almost unrecognizable,″ said Phil Kaplan, spokesman for West Palm Beach Fire-Rescue.

The driver of the 1993 Ford that made it across the tracks, Pablo J. Valle, 33, suffered minor injuries, as did two passengers.

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