Firefighter pulls woman from SUV seconds before it's hit by LIRR train

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N.J. Burkett reports on the emotional rescue.

An off-duty firefighter is being hailed as a hero after he pulled a woman to safety moments before her SUV was struck by a Long Island Rail Road train late Tuesday night.

It happened around 10 p.m. at the crossing near the intersection of Montauk Highway and Arthur Avenue, to the east of the Bellport station, in Brookhaven, in Suffolk County.

Authorities say the SUV was stopped at the crossing when it was struck by another vehicle and pushed onto the tracks.

Firefighter Peter Dipinto, who lives nearby, heard the collision and ran to the scene. He found the woman in the damaged SUV with the LIRR train bearing down, and he was able to get her out seconds before the vehicle was struck and thrown 50 feet into the brush.

"It was really a bang-bang, 1-2-3 thing," Dipinto said. "But it was scary, because the train was actually coming as we were crossing the tracks. And it was just a very loud explosion."

Watch the full interview with Dipinto here:
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Watch the full interview with an off-duty firefighter talking about saving woman moments before her SUV was hit by a train.


The only injuries reported came from the initial crash, and all were said to be minor.

"The gates were coming down at Pete pulled up the scene," Brookhaven Fire Chief Giuseppe Loiacono said. "So he was quick to pull her out, and then the train came through."

Dipinto later met up with the woman he saved. Watch the tearful reunion here:

Dipinto, 65, is a 30-year veteran of the department. His two sons are also firefighters.

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