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MTA: Unlicensed driver left car hit by train

A train struck a car in Patchogue, police

A train struck a car in Patchogue, police and railroad officials said. (Oct. 17, 2012) Credit: Robert Garofalo

Service on the Montauk branch of the Long Island Rail Road was suspended temporarily Wednesday morning after a train struck a car abandoned on the tracks by an unlicensed driver just east of the Patchogue station, the MTA said.

An investigation revealed the car had gotten stuck on the tracks after losing a wheel, railroad spokesman Sal Arena said in a statement detailing the crash, which occurred at about 6:45 a.m. at Rider Avenue.

No one was injured in the crash, which involved the 6:21 a.m. train from Speonk.

Rider Avenue is the second crossing east of Patchogue.

An investigation revealed the driver, whose identity has not been released, did not have a license. He was arrested by the MTA Police, Arena said.

The train involved in the crash was delayed for one hour and 12 minutes at the scene.

Service on the branch was suspended in both directions until about 8 a.m., officials said. The MTA website said, however, that customers should expect residual delays of up to an hour -- delays that plagued the remainder of the morning rush.

That service was suspended between Speonk and Patchogue and customers were advised during the time to seek alternate train service on the Babylon and Ronkonkoma branches, the website said.

Customers at Babylon traveling to Hicksville and Mineola were asked to board an electric train to Jamaica and then transfer to an eastbound train to Ronkonkoma or Huntington. Customers were also able to opt to "wait for service to resume on the Montauk Branch," the railroad said.

In addition to the 6:21 a.m. train from Speonk, other trains affected by the crash included: the 7:03 a.m. train from Patchogue to Babylon, which is operating 16 minutes late from Patchogue; the 6:49 a.m. train from Speonk, due to arrive in Long Island City at 8:44 a.m., is being delayed at Mastic-Shirley; and, the 7:12 a.m. train from Speonk, due to arrive in the Hunterspoint Avenue station at 9:11 a.m., was canceled -- with customers to be accommodated by the 7:31 a.m. train from Speonk to Babylon.


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