LIRR Ronkonkoma branch restored again after train hits car

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The aftermath of a crash involving a Long Island Rail Road train and empty car east of the Pinelawn station on Jan. 21, 2016. (Photo: Air 11)

The aftermath of a crash involving a Long Island Rail Road train and empty car east of the Pinelawn station on Jan. 21, 2016. (Photo: Air 11)

LONG ISLAND — Service has been restored along a portion of the Ronkonkoma branch that had been suspended in both directions to start the Thursday morning commute because of a vehicle being struck by a train, which was then disabled, according to Long Island Rail Road officials.

The collision happened east of the Pinelawn station.

The car was empty when it was hit by the train, Suffolk County police said. The driver ran from the vehicle as the train approached about 6:30 a.m. and was not hurt, police said.

Trains were not running between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale, the agency said in an update shortly before 8 a.m.

At 7:30 a.m., service was restored in both directions with delays averaging 45 minutes, the transit agency said. But soon after, suspensions were again in effect because the train that struck the car was disabled in single-track territory.

As of 8:40 a.m., service was restored with delays averaging 2 hours, the agency said.

Commuters were urged to use alternate branches, such as the Montauk and Port Jefferson lines, to get around the suspension.

For real-time updates on the status of your train, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.