MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Long Island Rail Road service was suspended in both directions east of Mineola following a fiery collision Friday night.
Shortly before 8 p.m., a LIRR train struck a car that was stuck on the tracks at the rail crossing at Main Street and Willis Avenue near the Mineola station.
“I haven’t seen something like that in my life,” one witness told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes. “It was really bad.”
The car burst into flames, and the fire spread to a nearby MTA building.
“I heard the explosion… The floor in the restaurant vibrated and as I look out the window, I see the car, the rail cars, going by and I could see the flames on the tracks,” said Russ Fehrenbacher.
“We came out here, it was burning, things were popping. I don’t know what exactly, but something was popping,” Andrew Wettstein said.
Police said the driver of the car was using a GPS that directed her over the tracks, and her car got stuck. She managed to get out before impact.
The train was no longer in service and there were no passengers on board.
No one was hurt, but the tracks were badly damaged, police said.
The suspension was affecting the Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Oyster Bay branches.
Riders were advised to use alternate branches, like Hempstead and Babylon/Montauk, if possible.
Police said the station could be out of service through the weekend.