Officials say a vehicle went around a warning gate along tracks of the Long Island Railroad Tuesday, and collided with a commuter train bound for Manhattan. Then a train traveling in the opposite direction struck the vehicle, according to local authorities. All three people in the vehicle were killed.
The incident occurred near the Westbury station just before 7:30 p.m. A train from Ronkonkoma was headed for Penn Station when it struck the vehicle. The Associated Press quotes Nassau County Police Chief Patrick Ryder as saying the passenger vehicle was "trying to beat the gate" at the time of the collision, and the train was going "full speed."
He said the train partially derailed and struck the station, knocking off about 30 yards of concrete.
Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng said in the first impact the vehicle was pushed toward a second, moving train and was struck again.
Eng said the warning gate and lights were functioning.
Two employees of Newsday said that they felt two bumps and saw flames on one side of the car windows before the train stopped.
Newsday employee Nirmal Mitra posted photos on Twitter of the passengers evacuating the train after the accident.
The identities of the deceased have not been released.