3 Killed; Widespread Disruption After LIRR Trains Hit Truck

3RD UPDATE  Service was suspended Tuesday night on several lines after two Long Island Rail Road trains hit a truck on the tracks in Westbury, the MTA said.

Nassau County police said three people were killed in the crash, and that the vehicle had been trying to “beat the gate” ahead of the trains.

An eastbound train carrying about 100 passengers hit the truck first, followed by a westbound train carrying about 800 passengers striking the truck, law-enforcement officials said. The crash and derailment also took out a length of station platform.

Service west of Hicksville remains suspended, and the LIRR is warning of severe disruptions to the morning commute.

At 10:07 p.m., the LIRR said that “extremely limited service has been established between Hicksville and Huntington, and between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma. The first westbound train to depart Huntington is scheduled to depart at 10:13PM. The first westbound from Ronkonkoma
train will depart at 10:09PM. Service remains suspended west of Hicksville on the Ronkonkoma and Huntington/Port Jefferson Branches in both directions following a collision between a train and a motor vehicle at the School Street crossing in Westbury. We advise customers to take alternate branches including the Babylon, Hempstead, Montauk and Oyster Bay branches. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

An estimated 200 people were on the train and some with minor injuries were taken to nearby hospitals.

The MTA said the  6:36PM train from Ronkonkoma due at Penn Station at 7:56PM became disabled after hitting a truck on the tracks near the School Street crossing in Westbury.  Service on the Ronkonkoma and Huntington/Port Jefferson Branches is suspended in both directions.

Fire departments responded to the accident. Customers were being advised to use alternate branches, including Babylon, Montauk and Hempstead.

The LIRR is operating an extra diesel train from Jamaica at approximately 9:35PM
that will travel up the Central Branch and stop at Hicksville.

On Twitter, passengers on several trains reported they were being held inside their trains as a result.

Pei-Sze Cheng, a reporter for WNBC, said on Twitter, “Of all the branches, the line is actually working! Train is packed and making extra stops at and – at LIRR – Jamaica Station

Photo by Christian Mercadante

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