Cops: Train collides with tractor in Laurel, one man injured

04/21/2015 3:30 PM |
First responders on scene of the accident in Laurel Tuesday afternoon after a train collided with a tractor. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

First responders on scene of the accident in Laurel Tuesday afternoon after a train collided with a tractor. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

A single-car Long Island Rail Road train collided with a tractor at a farm in Laurel Tuesday afternoon, according to Riverhead Police Lt. David Lessard. 

A man on the tractor was injured and he was transported via medevac to Stony Brook University Medical Center. The train was an engineering inspection vehicle — not a passenger train, according to Salvatore Arena, a LIRR spokesman.

The train was carrying three LIRR employees, Lt. Lessard said, and there were no injuries to anyone on the train.

The train was headed westbound across the Half Hollow Nursery property when it collided with the tractor being driven by a nursery employee at about 2:30 p.m., the authorities said.

The entire front end of the tractor, which was carting forsythia shrubs across the farm, was ripped off from the impact.

The victim’s clothes were left on the ground at the scene after he was put aboard a Suffolk County Police Department helicopter, which landed just before 3 p.m. His boots were also left in the tracks.

Mr. Arena described the area of impact as a recognized “farm crossing.”

“Neither the owner of the farm, nor the LIRR is required in this case to maintain a fully equipped grade crossing” with lights, bells and whistles,  he said. “Since traffic on the farm is limited to farm vehicles, a simple posted notice is all that is required.”

Mr. Arena said the driver of the tractor suffered a leg injury.

He described the train as a track geometry car owned and operated by the LIRR.

“The geometry car measures the rail in a linear fashion in effort to determine whether the track might be misaligned or warped in any way,” Mr. Arena said.

MTA police arrived on scene to investigate.

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