Witnesses: Driver went around crossing gates before train crash

A Long Island Rail Road train struck a minivan on the tracks in Malverne Monday morning.

The incident happened just after 7 a.m. near the Westwood Station in Malverne.

The incident happened just after 7 a.m. near the Westwood Station in Malverne. (3/13/17)

MALVERNE - A Long Island Rail Road train struck a minivan on the tracks in Malverne Monday morning.

It happened around 7 a.m. at the Franklin Avenue crossing. The driver's side of the minivan was crushed inward after the impact, and there were sparks and smoke coming out of the wreckage.

The driver of the minivan was conscious after the crash, and responding officers broke the windows on the vehicle to get him out.

The MTA says the gates at the crossing were functioning properly and were down before the crash. The driver was seen swerving around them, according to officials and witnesses.

A neighbor tells News 12 that witnesses reported seeing the driver also swerving around two cars before going around the gates. He says the man's life was probably saved because the trains don't go at full speed when leaving the Malverne station.

The driver was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

No one aboard the LIRR train was injured.

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