BRENTWOOD - Authorities say two people are dead after a Long Island Rail Road train slammed into a car on the tracks just east of the Brentwood station this morning.

Investigators say a car carrying two people apparently drove around a railroad gate that was fully down at the time, placing them directly in the train's path. The car was pushed for approximately half a mile until the train stopped, and both the car and the front of the train caught fire after the impact.

News 12 Long Island has learned that police are investigating whether the driver of the car was talking on a cell phone at the time of the crash.

Investigators say they now know that the badly charred vehicle was a Nissan, but the two people who were inside have not yet been identified.

Authorities say the train was used to carry equipment and no passengers were on board.

The incident halted LIRR service on the Ronkonkoma line for much of the day, but LIRR officials say service has since been restored.

To watch extended Chopper 12 footage and a police news conference on the train crash, click on News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.