Van Struck By Two LIRR Trains At Dangerous Crossing
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) crossing which was the site of a fatal accident last week is one of the busiest and most dangerous crossings. Some 200 commuter trains pass by the crossing every day, some traveling at speeds of 80 miles per hour. It was so dangerous that the city had decided to eliminate the crossing with a construction project beginning next year. Despite the dangers of the crossing, three men in a van trying to beat the trains were struck by first one train and then another. Authorities believe they may have been fleeing from an accident at the time of the fatal crash, as the New York Times reports.
The construction work at the School Street crossing of the LIRR tracks was scheduled to begin next year. Before that, safety features had been installed, such as attention-getting delineators, which are rubber, to get a driver’s attention as they drive over them approaching the tracks. This is the first accident at that crossing since the delineators were installed.
The men in the car had just left a nearby restaurant when they were involved in a minor fender bender. When the owner of the vehicle that was struck went to her car to retrieve a cell phone, they left the scene.
Once at the School Street crossing, it appears that the driver of the van attempted to beat the oncoming train, which had just left the Westbury LIRR station. This eastbound train was the first to strike the vehicle. The vehicle was then struck by a westbound train, where it burst into flames.
The vehicle was all but destroyed according to authorities. The only thing left of the vehicle is the engine.
The westbound train headed to the Westbury station crashed into the platform.
As a result of the accident, the main line had to cancel 12 trains and Manhattan-bound trains during the morning rush had to pass by the wreckage.