An intoxicated man drove on railroad tracks in Queens before his vehicle hit the third rail and burst into flames, setting off a three-hour suspension of train service overnight between Penn and Jamaica stations, LIRR officials said.
Ronny Mora, 25, of Corona, walked back to the Borden Avenue crossing in Long Island City and told Long Island Rail Road employees he was "sorry" for leaving his car on the tracks, the commuter railroad said in a news release Monday.
He had driven onto the tracks 11 p.m. Sunday from the crossing and traveled east for almost a mile, past the LIRR Hunterspoint Avenue Station, MTA police said.
Mora stopped only when his car hit the third rail, smoldered, then burst into flames, authorities said.
He was charged in Queens Criminal Court with unlawful interference with a train, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, MTA officials said.
MTA officials said service was suspended in both directions as firefighters put out the blaze and crews repaired the damaged third rail.
Mora could not be reached Monday afternoon, and it was not clear if he had an attorney.