NJ Transit train smashes into police SUV on tracks
LONG BRANCH — No one was injured when a police vehicle was struck by an NJ Transit passenger train stuck at a crossing on Monday morning.
The North Jersey Coast Line train left Bay Head bound for New York at 10:10 a.m. and struck the car at the Brighton Avenue crossing around 10:55 am, according to NJ Transit spokeswoman Lisa Torbic.
Video of the incident posted on Facebook by The Link News showed the SUV-style vehicle's front end completely destroyed and the crossing taped off. Some debris was lying in the roadway.
Torbic said neither the officer who'd been driving the vehicle nor any of the 110 passengers on board the train were injured. The cleanup and investigation of the incident created 30-minute delays in both directions on the North Jersey Coast Line.
UPDATE: While Torbic described the officer being inside the vehicle, Long Branch police later said he'd just existed it.
According to an email sent by Long Branch police Monday afternoon, an officer had been backing up another officer for a motor vehicle stop on Brighton Avenue, and existed his vehicle — when the vehicle began to move forward, unnoticed. The officer later said he'd had trouble getting the vehicle into park, but thought he'd done so before exiting, Long Branch police said.
"It rolled down a small grass embankment and came to stop with the front end extended slightly onto the railroad tracks," police said. As luck would have it, a train was coming and struck the police car. Fortunately, no one was injured, except for some feelings."
The passengers continued their trip on a different train from the Long Branch station, Torbic said.
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