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Repairs, delays continue after deadly LIRR accident in Westbury – WABC-TV

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WESTBURY, Long Island (WABC) — The Long Island Rail Road continues to experience service delays and cancellations two days after two trains slammed into a car that had driven around the gate crossings, killed 3 people inside the vehicle.

Video showed crews hauling away the derailed train early Thursday morning, a process that took more than 24 hours because they had to first cut away the concrete platform.

A witness told police that the driver who caused the deadly crash by going around the lowered gate was fleeing the scene of an earlier fender bender, a police official said Wednesday.

“The witness said that individual was involved in an accident and went around the gate,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

The victims were identified as Jesus Hernandez, Saul Martinez, and Miguel Luna, who worked at a local grocery store where friends and coworkers made a small memorial.

Surveillance video showed the three men at a barbershop after work Tuesday, before they got into their SUV. Later, they were hit by two oncoming trains heading in opposite directions at the School Street crossing.

Engineers say the intersection is dangerous and that there were plans to eliminate the grade crossing and have cars travel underneath instead.

“I know there’s been other discussions, can you do something more definitive that blocks the crossing definitively,” LIRR President Phillip Eng said. “I think all of that is something we put on the table and continue to look at. There’s other new technology that we’ll investigate.”

Now that the train is removed, crews can further inspect the tracks and station to see how badly they are damaged.

Delays are expected to be just 10 minutes for operating trains, but there is limited service in both directions on the Huntington/Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches as LIRR crews continue to make repairs.

The LIRR said it will be able to restore full train service after the damaged cars are removed and all track repairs are made.

Inspections found extensive damage to infrastructure, including rails, signal equipment and third rail.

CLICK HERE for service updates.

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