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LIRR train hits vehicle; Ronkonkoma service restored after 3 hours

Authorities respond after an LIRR train struck a

Authorities respond after an LIRR train struck a vehicle Wednesday night on the tracks west of the Ronkonkoma station. No one was injured, the LIRR said. Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

A train carrying 350 people slammed into a vehicle on the tracks in Ronkonkoma on Wednesday night, leading to suspended service in both directions for almost three hours as crews worked to clear the wreckage and redirect the train, the Long Island Rail Road said.

The 7:11 p.m. train from Penn Station hit the vehicle about 8:30 p.m. just west of the Ronkonkoma station, the LIRR said.

The driver, an elderly woman, was found near the scene and did not appear to be injured but was taken to a hospital for observation, the LIRR said.

“We’re relieved to hear that there are no apparent injuries and are grateful to the first responders and LIRR personnel who have responded quickly to help our customers," LIRR president Phil Eng said in a statement.

Westbound service on the entire Ronkonkoma Branch had been suspended, the LIRR said, while eastbound service was suspended between Wyandanch and Ronkonkoma.

By 11:20 p.m., service was restored, the vehicle removed and the train at the Ronkonkoma station, an LIRR spokeswoman said.

At first, LIRR was considering buses to take passengers to the Ronkonkoma train station, but crews ended up backing the train onto a second track. The train conductor was directed to go about 5 mph through the crash scene on its way to the station, the spokeswoman said.

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