LIRR service disrupted after train hits tractor trailer in Farmingdale

FARMINGDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- Long Island Rail Road service was disrupted during the Wednesday evening rush hour when a train collided with a tractor trailer.

The accident happened at about 5:40 p.m. at the Merrits Road grade crossing in Farmingdale. It involved an express train out of Penn Station heading to Ronkonkoma with about 1,000 passengers on board.

Investigators say the tractor trailer stalled out on the tracks at the crossing, and the driver got out of the cab to try and stop the train, but it was too late.

"I was sitting in the first car right by the window and all I see are parts flying and liquid flying everywhere," said a passenger named Sara. "And I knew we had hit something because the train shook a little bit."

Witnesses say the truck driver had tried to back up as the crossing gates came down but was blocked from behind by cars.

The driver escaped without being hurt, and no injuries were reported.

A rescue train transferred customers off the train involved in the incident.

Service on the Ronkonkoma branch was suspended between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma in both directions, and commuters were advised to use alternate branches.

Service was later restored on both tracks through Farmingdale but there were residual delays as trains operated at reduced speeds through the area.

Crews remain on the scene completing repairs to the Merrits Road crossing.

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