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LIRR Hopes Shocking Videos Keep Drivers From Tempting Fate

“Wait for the Gate” campaign shows what happens when a train and car collide.

The Long Island Rail Road is hoping a horrific set of videos depicting the carnage of a commuter train smashing into a car will scare local drivers into waiting patiently at train crossings.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority-dubbed "Wait for the Gate" campaign features two computer-generated simulations of a car-vs-train wreck, made by mixing real videos of trains at local crossings with virtual car crashes.

In one video, the LIRR also shows real wreckage from a fatal accident this past January in Brentwood.

“It is the story of life and death in 15 seconds,” LIRR chief Helena E. Williams said in a statement. ”We have addressed the crossing gate problem in public service announcements time and again over the years and felt it was time to raise our voice once more.”

The campaign will run on print, radio and television media outlets.

On Jan. 22, Blanca Maldonado, 52, a mother of three from Commack, and her 73-year-old father Jose Adolfo Reyes, died in a horrific crash when she tried to drive around a railroad crossing gate in Brentwood.

The oncoming LIRR train pulverized Maldonado's car, causing a huge fireball that burned their bodies beyond recognition.

There are more than 295 grade crossings in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the LIRR said, and so far in 2013 there have been nine incidents with cars or pedestrians being hit by trains. Six people have died, including one suicide. In 2012, six people also died in 11 incidents, though three were suicides, according to the LIRR. 

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