Deadly Crash in Lincoln Tunnel, Car Fire on LIRR Tracks Threaten Morning Commute

What to Know

  • A deadly motorcycle accident shut down the north tube of the Lincoln Tunnel for hours, leading to delays into and out of New York City
  • Meanwhile, a car burst into flames on a Long Island Rail Road track, disrupting service on the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson branches
  • Residual delays were reported through the morning commute

A deadly motorcycle crash in the Lincoln Tunnel and a burning car on the Long Island Railroad delayed thousands of commuters traveling to and from New York City Wednesday, but the worst of the traffic nightmare was cleared by the time the peak of the morning commute got underway. 

The Lincoln Tunnel's north tube was closed for about four hours after the crash that killed a 23-year-old woman riding on the back of a motorcycle at about 2:40 a.m. But the tube reopened at about 6:30 a.m., breaking up the logjam and getting traffic that had spilled out into 11th Avenue in Manhattan to get moving again. 

Residual delays lingered for the morning commute.

Over on Long Island, a car burst into flames a little after 2 a.m. on tracks near Urban Avenue in Westbury, possibly after striking the third rail. The fire damaged one of two tracks. Although the car was removed from the tracks shortly before 4 a.m., LIRR personnel were still assessing the extent of track and third rail damage.

One man witnessed the flaming car before it was extinguished and taken away. 

"Everything was on fire, there were sparks going all over the place. There was like smoke clouds all the way down the whole entire block," he said. 

The driver of the car, a 30-year-old man, was charged with DWI, the MTA said. 

Service was initially suspended in both directions between Hicksville and Mineola on the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson branches. Partial service was restored around 5:15 a.m., although the LIRR said customers should expect delays and some cancellations during the morning rush. 

The LIRR advised Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma commuters to use the Montauk or Babylon branches if possible. 

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