An eastbound equpiment train, with no passengers aboard, demolished a 2010 Nissan Maxima in Brentwood, N.Y., when the automobile went around lowered gates. No one on the train was injured, but the two occupants in vehicle did not survive, police said.
According to Metropolitan Transportation Authority police Capt. Neil Boyle, the gates at the Brentwood Road crossing were down when the train collided with the car, pushing it nearly a half-mile before stopping at the Brentwood train station.
“As he approached the crossing the motorman saw the vehicle go around the lowered gate,” Boyle explained at a news conference on the platform, close to where the wrecked car sat on the track.
“He put the train into emergency brake, sounded the horn,” he said. “That’s when he struck the vehicle. The vehicle was then pushed half a mile and it came to rest here.”
According to the source, LIRR trains are only allowed to reach a maximum speed of 80 mph and investigators are trying to determine how fast the train was going when it hit the car.
There were three LIRR workers aboard the train, the engineer included, when it stuck the automobile. It was going to the Ronkonkoma yard and when it’s not being used to transport equipment, it’s a passenger train, the railroad said.
Both of the fatalities were the occupants in the Maxima. The train obliterated the car, igniting it on impact. They are not yet releasing the identities of the victims, according to an LIRR spokesperson.
The wrecked car had been lifted by from the tracks by 1 p.m. but railroad service has been suspended on between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.
According to a railroad official there is limited service on the Ronkoma line, with one of the tracks running trains.