An accident involving a motor coach, a taxi and another vehicle Monday morning on the Long Island Expressway caused minor injuries to four taxi passengers, police and fire officials said.

The 8:40 a.m. accident resulted in a brief shutdown of the HOV lane westbound, police said.

The bus had no passengers and its driver was not injured, Dix Hills Fire Department Chief Tom Magno said.

"The coach bus rear-ended the taxi," Magno said. "Thank God the bus was empty."

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The Dix Hills Fire Department responded to an 8:44 a.m. call for emergency aid, sending a heavy rescue truck and three ambulances to the scene about a mile west of Exit 51, the Deer Park Avenue exit in Dix Hills, Magno said.

He said the ambulances took the four taxi passengers to Huntington Hospital after all complained of neck and back pains that he described as whiplash injuries. There were no injuries involving the third vehicle in the accident, he said.