Firefighter saves driver before train hits car in Brookhaven

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BROOKHAVEN -

A volunteer firefighter is being called a hero after pulling a Holbrook woman from her car seconds before it was smashed by a train Tuesday evening.

Officials say Janice Esposito's car ended up pushed on to the train tracks after she was T-boned by another driver while making a left turn from Arthur Avenue onto Montauk Highway, just east of the Bellport LIRR station. 

Esposito tells News 12 Long Island she didn't even realize her car had been pushed onto the railroad tracks.

Brookhaven firefighter Pete DiPinto says he lives around the block from the station, heard the initial crash and knew he had to respond. When he got there, he says he saw the car stuck on the tracks with a woman inside.

"She goes, 'I'm not sure where I am.' I said, 'Honey you're on the railroad tracks. We have to get you off,'" DiPinto told News 12.

Soon after, he says he heard the bells on the railroad crossing and an approaching train. 

"I looked and said, 'Oh, shoot,'" said DiPinto. 

DiPinto opened her passenger door, pulled her to safety and they ran off the tracks, just before the impact. 

"I will think of you every day for the rest of my life. You kept us a family," Esposito told DiPinto Wednesday.

DiPinto is 65 years old and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He told News 12 that he doesn't believe he did anything out of the ordinary and said saving lives is just simply in his nature.
 

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