Second car struck by LIRR train within 24 hours

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PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (PIX11) -- A Long Island Rail Road train struck a car at on a crossing in Patchogue around noon Tuesday. The driver was taken away in a stretcher, but was not seriously hurt, according to an MTA spokesman.

The front of his car was cracked open by the collision. His vehicle was propelled at least 25 feet from the crossing, and into the fence of a nearby business.

Wayne Barry was leaving work on his lunch break when he saw the whole thing. "I just saw a quick flash and a bunch of parts fly everywhere. So, I called his wife when he asked me to, and made sure he was alive, and called 911."

Barry says the driver appeared to be in his late 50s, or early 60s. The MTA is investigating if the crossing gates were working properly when the crash occurred. But the eyewitness who spoke to PIX11 said the driver ignored the crossing signals.

"The gates were down," he said, "he blew through them. He went right through them."

This is the second crash involving an LIRR train in roughly 24 hours. Monday an elderly woman's SUV was clipped by a train at a crossing in East Rockaway. She was taken to a hospital, but is also expected to be okay.

Tuesday's crash comes exactly one month after a Metro-North train struck a woman's Mercedes SUV in Valhalla. The fiery collision killed 6 people, including 5 passengers and the driver.

Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill that includes $300 million dollars for safety improvements at railroad crossings. The House was expected to vote on the measure tonight, but it was postponed to tomorrow to deal with the standoff over homeland security funding.