A minivan crossing the railroad tracks while the gates were down on Franklin Avenue in Malverne was hit by a train departing the village station at 7 a.m. on March 13.
The driver of the vehicle, the only occupant of the car, was alive but unconscious, and rushed to Winthrop University Hospital. His condition was unknown at press time.
The impact of the crash carried the car half-way down the eastern perimeter of the former Woodland Nursery property, which is adjacent to the tracks.
Several hundred Long Island Rail Road passengers traveling to Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal were evacuated from the train and put on school buses, which transported them to other stops along the West Hempstead line.
“We see this happen every four to five years,” said John Aresta, chief of the Malverne Police Department, who coordinated rescue operations at the crash with Malverne Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Richard Bopp.
One passenger said the train came to a sudden stop, and then they felt the impact of the crash.
“They should put cameras at these railroad crossings, not at so many of the traffic lights,” said another irate passenger.
Bus service had replaced train service in both directions between West Hempstead and Valley Stream as LIRR personnel made repairs to the damaged third rail. Trains from other lines were making extra stops to accommodate passengers affected by the unexpected suspension on the West Hempsetad line. By 11 a.m., service had been restored.