Coronavirus News: LIRR loses first employee to COVID-19

RONKONKOMA, Long Island (WABC) -- The Long Island Railroad lost its first member due to the coronavirus.

Officials announced the death of 19-year Station Appearance Maintainer James Houlihan Friday.

Houlihan was most recently based out of the Mid-Suffolk Yard in Ronkonkoma.

"It is with great sadness that the Long Island Rail Road family has learned of the passing of James Houlihan," the release stated. "James had been with us for nearly 20 years, spending most of his career as a Station Appearance Maintainer. He also worked as an Assistant Conductor."

LIRR President Phillip Eng met with Houlihan's colleagues at Mid-Suffolk Yard Friday, and his co-workers spoke about how friendly he was and that he always had a smile on his face.

"We are mourning this heartbreaking loss," Eng said in the release. "We will never forget James' contributions and unyielding commitment to public service. Our thoughts are with his wife Diane, and his family and friends."

Long Island Rail Road has had 245 employees test positive for the virus, 419 employees are currently quarantined and 847 have returned to work, including 155 employees who had tested positive and recovered.



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