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Florida man steals car, escapes just before collision with train sends it into a house

Martin County car into house.jpg
Posted at 8:17 AM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 08:17:04-05

A Florida man was arrested after stealing a car, then narrowly escaping before a train plowed into it and sent it into a house, Martin County Sheriff's Office said.

According to a Facebook post, 38-year-old Bradford Weitzel said he couldn't find his car after leaving a bar early Saturday morning. He said he stole a car "in a good faith effort" to go find his car.

He told authorities he somehow ended up on the train tracks along Indian River Dr. He claims the car he stole suddenly stopped dead on the train tracks as a train was coming.

Weitzel says he got out and ran, leaving the car on the tracks. Within seconds, the train hit the car, launching it into a nearby home where the homeowners were asleep.

Deputies say nobody was hurt, but the explosive sound of a car smashing into the side of their home was "clearly jolting."

Weitzel then continued on to a nearby fruit stand where he is accused of vandalizing the business and trying to steal a forklift.

Eventually, he said he thought it was best to flag down the responding deputies to tell them he was still looking for his car.

Weitzel was arrested and charged with grand theft and criminal mischief, with additional charges expected, the sheriff's office says.