Early Morning Train-Car Crash Causes Delays on L.I.R.R.

A Toyota RAV4 left on the tracks was destroyed when it was hit by a train Tuesday morning. Peter Rucano

An eastbound Long Island Rail Road train crashed into an abandoned sport utility vehicle early Tuesday morning in Montauk. No injuries were reported.

The Toyota S.U.V. had become stuck at the end of a dirt road in Hither Hills State Park, according to Montauk Fire Department Chief Joe Lenahan. The driver had left to seek help before the train arrived at about 4 a.m. It was unclear whether there had been anyone else with the driver at the time.

The vehicle was struck by a L.I.R.R. train that left Jamaica at 1:11 a.m., according to Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "Occupants had apparently and wisely abandoned the car after it got stuck at crossing," Mr. Salvatore wrote in an email.

The fire department responded with its heavy rescue truck, two brush trucks, and a utility truck, Chief Lenahan said. He was "uncertain of the collateral damage until on scene," he said. Two fire chiefs and other personnel reached the site from service roads, he said.

Chief Lenahan said the department knew where to respond thanks to number signs it installed along the tracks and on the service road for such incidents. "The L.I.R.R. can call 911 with a number and we can locate it on maps and G.P.S. It's a great, but simple, system that works," he said.

It took several hours to separate the wrecked Toyota from train engine, Mr. Salvatore said. It resumed its trip at 6:30 a.m. For the nine passengers aboard the train, it was a two-and-a-half hour delay, he said.

The first train departing Montauk Tuesday morning was canceled due to the accident. Trains are now running as scheduled.

The M.T.A. police are handling the accident investigation, according to East Hampton Town police.
 

The East Hampton Star