Credit: Steve Pfost

An elderly man died Monday in a fiery crash after he drove around Long Island Rail Road gates at a grade crossing and was struck by a train in Deer Park, officials said.

The eastbound train struck the vehicle at a crossing just west of the Deer Park LIRR station about 12:30 p.m., killing the vehicle’s driver, officials said.

A railroad spokesman said there were no reported injuries among train passengers. It was not immediately clear how many people were aboard the train.

Fire officials said reports from firefighters at the scene were that the vehicle was “fully engulfed” in flames. Deer Park First Assistant Fire Chief Philip Scarfi confirmed the driver had been killed.

LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan also confirmed that the driver was killed, and described him as a 94-year-old man, whose identification is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

“MTA Police’s preliminary report indicates that the gates were down with lights flashing and bells sounding when the driver drove around the gates and into the path of the approaching train,” Donovan said.

LIRR service was suspended between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma and Suffolk police said Carlls Path was closed between Long Island Avenue to the north and Lake Avenue to the south, fire officials said.

Starting at 11:30 p.m., buses will replace overnight trains between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma while the LIRR performs track repairs in Deer Park, the rail road said Monday night.

Regular train service is expected to be restored by 4:30AM. Buses will be limited, so customers are advised to use the Port Jefferson, Babylon or Montauk branches as an alternative if possible, the LIRR said.

With Alfonso A. Castillo, Lisa Irizarry and Michael O’Keeffe

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