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Long Island Train Hits Car, Kills 2

January 4, 2001

HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) _ A train slammed into a car and killed two women after the driver _ who was celebrating her 20th birthday _ drove around a railroad crossing gate, police said.

A Long Island Rail Road equipment train struck the car Wednesday night and pushed it a quarter-mile down the tracks before stopping, police said. A third woman in the car was critically injured.

Neighbors told the New York Post in Thursday’s editions the gate had not been working properly. One resident, Don Cristiano, 26, said the gates had been jammed partway down 10 minutes before the accident.

But Chief Peter Laverso, a patrol chief for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said witnesses told police that the gates were ``definitely working.″

``We have a witness who was in a car that was also waiting at the gate who heard the whistle blowing and felt the rumbling of the train’s engine,″ he said. ``We don’t know why these girls went around the gate.″

The driver, Nasrin Razzak of Islip Terrace, and passenger Nidia Irizary, 19, of Huntington Station, were killed instantly, police said.

Another passenger, Desiree Bravo, 19, of Huntington Station, was airlifted to a hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.

The train was not carrying any passengers.

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