WOODBURY - Two people were hospitalized following a crash involving a motorcyclist and a police vehicle on the Long Island Expressway.

The accident happened east of Exit 51 in Dix Hills around 1:25 p.m., shutting down all westbound lanes for several hours and backing up traffic for miles.

The operator of the police van was attempting to make a U-turn at an area designated for emergency vehicles at the time of the crash, police said in a news release.

Police say the motorcyclist was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries.

The police officer was transported to Huntington Hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.

All lanes were reopened shortly before 5 p.m.