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LIRR: Dental records to help confirm train crash victims' IDs

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the gates at

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the gates at the Brentwood Road crossing were down when the train struck the vehicle, pushing it about half a mile before coming to rest at the Brentwood station. (Jan. 22, 2013) Credit: James Carbone

Metropolitan Transportation Authority police are awaiting autopsy results and a check of dental records to positively identify the two occupants of a car who died in a fiery crash with a Long Island Rail Road train in Brentwood, an LIRR spokesman said Wednesday.

Late Wednesday night, a man who answered the Commack home of Blanca Maldonado said she was one of the people killed in the crash.

He refused to say anything more.

Police said the bodies were burned beyond recognition in the Tuesday morning accident.

The two victims were killed when their car, a 2010 Nissan Maxima, went around a lowered gate at the Second Street crossing, according to the MTA, and was struck by an eastbound train that had an engineer and two LIRR workers on board but no passengers. The force of the impact caused the vehicle to burst into flames and nearly disintegrate, police said. None of the three workers in the equipment train was injured.

The force of the impact pushed the burning wreckage eastbound from the crash site to the Brentwood LIRR station about a half-mile away, officials said. The fire blackened the front of the train.

"As he approached the crossing, the motorman saw the vehicle go around the lowered gate," Metropolitan Transportation Authority police Capt. Neil Boyle said at a news conference Tuesday on the station platform, near the wrecked car and the train on the track. "He put the train into emergency brake, sounded his horn."

The crash, just after 10 a.m., led to the suspension of all service on the Ronkonkoma branch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale.

Limited eastbound service was restored Tuesday afternoon and except for a few possible early delays, service was on a regular schedule Wednesday, MTA officials said.

A railroad source said investigators are still trying to determine how fast the eastbound train was traveling when it struck the car on its way to the Ronkonkoma yard.

With Nicole Fuller

and William Murphy

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