Train track rescue
Last night at approximately 10:25 p.m. an east bound train struck a vehicle stuck on the tracks just east of the Bellport Train Station at the Arthur Avenue crossing. According to South Country Ambulance chief Greg Miglino, just prior to the train crash a vehicle stopped before the tracks was struck by another vehicle pushing the car onto the tracks.
Brookhaven firefighter Pete DiPinto, a retired William Floyd social studies teacher, was the first to respond to the accident from his home around the corner, explained Miglino. Upon arriving at the scene he called out to the first driver of the first vehicle who responded back and only reported minor arm pain. He then approached the vehicle on the tracks when the railroad signals began to go off indicating an oncoming train. Recognizing her door was smashed he opened the passenger door and aided her out of the vehicle.
"She was obviously in some pain and suffering from shock when he first came upon her," said Miglino. "He grabbed her and moved out of the way to a railroad building where he protected her from the shrapnel of the vehicle that was hit by the train. If he didn't get her out of the way in the way and timeframe that he did that woman would have been dead."
Both women and both the train conductor and engineer were checked for injuries by the South Country Ambulance EMTs. The woman who was removed from the vehicle on the tracks, 43 from Holbrook, was transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital for minor injuries to her neck and back from the initial crash. The SC Ambulance personnel also evaluated the 40 passengers aboard the train all of which reported no injuries or complaints. DiPinto was not immediately available for comment.
The train, according to MTA police, originated in Jamaica and was due for Montauk. There were no injuries reported from any customers or crews aboard the train and two LIRR trains were canceled due to the incident. Train service was restored at 11:45 p.m. The crash is still under MTA police investigation.
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