Long Island Commuter Train Strikes Vehicle at Grade CrossingMichelle Kaske
Service was restored on a Long Island Rail Road line after a train collided with a car at a grade crossing in East Rockaway, the second such incident in less than a month on New York’s commuter trains. The driver of the vehicle survived the accident.
The collision happened at about 12:25 p.m. Monday near the Centre Avenue Station on the Long Beach Branch line, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a statement.
The driver of a Toyota Highlander sport-utility vehicle, described by MTA police as an elderly woman, was taken to a nearby hospital with neck and back injuries, according to the statement.
An eyewitness reported that the driver entered the crossing even though red warning lights were flashing and the crossing bells were ringing as the train approached, police said. The gate lowered behind the vehicle, and the impact from the collision pushed the SUV off the tracks.
The incident mirrors the deadly Feb. 3 Metro-North crash in Westchester County where six people were killed. The train collided with a Mercedes-Benz SUV that was also stopped on the tracks at a crossing, creating a fireball that engulfed the first rail car. It was the deadliest accident in Metro-North history.
The LIRR is the busiest U.S. commuter rail system. The MTA, which runs Metro-North and the LIRR, said last week it’s working with Operation Lifesaver, an Alexandria, Virginia-based group devoted to improving safety at rail crossings.