Three dead as car hit by two trains on US railway crossing

Published February 28, 2019, 8:12 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Agence France-Presse

Three people were killed when their car was hit by two different trains as the vehicle was crossing a railway on Long Island, just outside New York.

Firefighters work the scene of a collision involving a Manhattan-bound commuter train and a vehicle in Westbury, New York, Tuesday. The Long Island Rail Road says service was suspended Tuesday evening in both directions on the Ronkonkoma and Huntington/Port Jefferson branches. | HOWARD SCHNAPP / NEWSDAY / VIA AP
Firefighters work the scene of a collision involving a Manhattan-bound commuter train and a vehicle in Westbury, New York, Tuesday. The Long Island Rail Road says service was suspended Tuesday evening in both directions on the Ronkonkoma and Huntington/Port Jefferson branches. | HOWARD SCHNAPP / NEWSDAY / VIA AP

The car was on a railroad crossing late Tuesday when it was first hit by a train that had just pulled out of nearby Westbury station, before another train heading from the opposite direction also smashed into it.

One of the trains was derailed by the impact and ran into a concrete platform in Westbury station before coming to a halt. Around 900 people were riding on the two trains.

All three people in the car were killed, said Phillip Eng, head of the Long Island Rail Road.

Seven train passengers were injured, as well as a conductor and an engineer, said Eng, who did not say how serious the injuries were.

An initial inquiry suggested that the railroad crossing was functioning properly and that the barriers were down and the lights flashing to warn drivers of approaching trains, Eng said.

The New York Times reported that the driver appeared to have swerved around the barriers to try to make the crossing.

The accident led to extensive delays on the rail network Wednesday.

 
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