New Hyde Park Firefighters battled a car fire Friday night at the New Hyde Park LIRR station after a vehicle had crashed into the third rail near the New Hyde Park Road at-grade crossing.
According to officials at the scene, at about 9:10 p.m. the driver of a vehicle from Ollie’s Taxi service allegedly lost control of the vehicle and the passenger side of the car struck the electrified third rail on the eastbound side of the tracks, causing the fender to become conductive and eventually catch on fire. According to officials at the scene, the driver reported a problem with the vehicle’s brakes. Heavy rain may have also contributed to the incident, causing the vehicle to hydroplane. The exact cause of the accident is under investigation.
The male driver of the vehicle was able to exit the car before it became engulfed in flame. There were no passengers in the vehicle at the time. No injuries were reported at the scene.
The section of New Hyde Park Road from Jericho Turnpike to the at-grade crossing and partially south were shut down to traffic as at least 30 firefighters responded to the scene.
Power to the third rail was shut down so firefighters could extinguish the blaze, but also caused delays of upwards of 30 minutes on the Long Island Rail Road. Crews from the MTA Police arrived at the scene, removing the car at about 10:40 p.m. and inspecting the track for damage.