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Long IslandNassau

LIRR: Train hit minivan that drove around gate near Malverne

LIRR, police and fire officials clear the train and vehicle involved in Monday morning's accident at Franklin Avenue just west of Malverne and make repairs to a damaged third rail on March 13, 2017. (Credit: Newsday / Alfonso Castillo)

An LIRR train on the West Hempstead branch struck a minivan and pushed it 200 feet after the vehicle drove around the gates at a Malverne grade crossing Monday morning, officials said.

The driver was taken to a hospital, where he was being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, Long Island Rail Road spokesman Shams Tarek said. There were no injuries to passengers aboard the train.

“You had a car heading southbound on Franklin Avenue hit by the tracks around 7:06,” said Malverne Fire Chief Richard Bopp. “You had 400 people on board the train. They were all removed.”

Service was suspended in both directions after the 6:53 a.m. westbound train from West Hempstead struck the Chrysler just west of the Malverne station, the Long Island Rail Road said. Service was restored about 11 a.m., officials said.

LIRR officials said a preliminary MTA Police investigation indicates the crossing gates were functioning properly and the motorist drove around them. Bopp said the train moved the car about 200 feet along the tracks.

The vehicle was towed off the tracks on the back of a flatbed truck, its windshield shattered and its driver’s side crushed.

The railroad restored service after LIRR work crews repaired part of the electrified third rail near the crossing.


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