BRENTWOOD, NY (MorichesDaily) — An equipment train collided with a vehicle near the Brentwood station Tuesday, sparking a fire and causing suspending service on the Ronkonkoma Branch of the Long Island Rail Road, police and railroad officials said.
Both fatalities were in the car, a 2010 Nissan Maxima which was decimated by the impact.
The wreckage ignited, burning the Nissan and the front of the LIRR train. Firefighters from the Brentwood Fire Department extinguished that fire, officials said.An LIRR spokesman said the bodies in the car were burned beyond recognition, and their identities had not yet been determined.
The car went around lowered crossing gates moments before the fiery crash Tuesday morning that killed the car’s two occupants, a police spokesman said.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority police Capt. Neil Boyle said the gates at the Brentwood Road crossing were down when the train struck the car, pushing it about 1/2-mile before coming to rest at the Brentwood station.
“As he approached the crossing the motorman saw the vehicle go around the lowered gate,” Boyle said at a news conference on the station platform, nearby the wrecked car and the train on the track.
“He put the train into emergency brake, sounded his horn,” Boyle said. “That’s when he struck the vehicle. The vehicle then was pushed approximately half-a-mile and it came to rest here.”
Witnesses say the car erupted in flames after being struck. Photos from the scene show an utterly demolished car.
A railroad spokesman said details were still emerging and LIRR service is suspended on the Ronkonkoma Branch in both directions from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma.
Suffolk County police said the collision occurred at a crossing in Brentwood at about 10:05 a.m.
Buses have been ordered with an ETA of 11:15-11:30 a.m. to serve customers between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale.
Customers are advised, if possible, to seek alternate train service on the Montauk, Babylon and Port Jefferson branches.