(Laurel, Long Island, New York – April 21, 2015)
A self-propelled rail mounted vehicle either owned by Long Island Railroad or one provided through a contractor with the LIRR/Metropolitan Transit Authority struck and seriously injured a New York farmer at a dangerous, unguarded grade crossing Tuesday afternoon at 2:53 P.M., EDT in Laurel, NY. This rail vehicle does not have the right-of-way as it was “testing the track levels at the 40 mph speed limit (for trains, not track-mounted vehicles) when it rammed into the tractor,” according to news media sources.
The accident, which sent the unidentified and unwarned farmer to Stony Brook University Medical Center via Life Flight helicopter after his tractor was virtually destroyed by the rail detector vehicle, occurred on the LIRR’s Ronkonkama Branch which leads from the LIRR main line to Greenpoty, LI, NY.
Three railroad employees, none of whom were injured, were aboard the rail-mounted vehicle according to Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Salvatore Arena. Another MTA spokesperson, Meredith Daniels, said that the crossing has no gates or other protective devices, such as bells and flashing lights, intended to prevent accidents like the one that occurred Tuesday afternoon.