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Firefighter pulls driver from car moments before train approaches

Officials said the force of the impact sent the vehicle careening into some nearby woods

By Zachary R. Dowdy

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. — A Brookhaven firefighter pulled a motorist clear from a vehicle stuck on Bellport train tracks Tuesday night, moments before an eastbound LIRR train smashed into it, authorities said.

The driver, an unidentified female, was not hurt in the 10:25 p.m. collision, officials said. Long Island Rail Road spokeswoman, Sarah Armaghan, said the crash caused minor train delays.

Brookhaven firefighter Jim Maddelena said the vehicle was one of two involved in a minor crash at the Arthur Avenue LIRR crossing as the Montauk-bound train approached.

He said a Brookhaven firefighter who lives nearby heard the vehicles crash and came to the scene to investigate. The firefighter found the motorist still in one of the vehicles, which was stuck on the tracks as the train headed toward the crossing, Maddelena said.

Not long before the train hit the vehicle, the firefighter pulled the driver to safety, Maddelena said. The force of the impact sent the vehicle careening into some nearby woods, he said.

LIRR officials tweeted an alert shortly after 11:20 p.m. saying service had been temporarily suspended on the Montauk branch between Speonk and Patchogue due to the crash.

Earlier postings said that the 8:53 p.m. train from Jamaica due in Montauk at 11:57 p.m. was delayed east of Bellport Station, and a westbound 9:59 p.m. train from Speonk due in Babylon at 11:07 p.m. was delayed east of Mastic Station because of the crash.

Copyright 2017 Newsday


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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