LIRR Accident Update

Yesterday evening I had the unfortunate task of writing about 2 separate accidents of a LIRR train running over & killing a male. Steve Ritea of Newsday has posted an updated report about the accidents:

Two men were killed in unrelated accidents on Long Island Rail Road tracks Monday morning, MTA Police said, when a 19-year-old fell from a platform at Lynbrook station and the body of a 57-year-old was found between Central Islip and Ronkonkoma.

The victims were identified as Patrick J. Gordon of Rockville Centre and Dennis Pankavich of Central Islip.

“Everybody’s numb,” said Gordon’s uncle, Gerard Gordon of Westbury. “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. … He was a real good kid.”

Patrick Gordon and a friend had just gotten off a train from Long Beach, where Gerard Gordon said they had attended a party, when Patrick fell from the platform onto the tracks around 3:30 a.m. as another eastbound train was headed into Lynbrook station, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Sgt. Kim Riley said.

The train was traveling at about 30 mph when the engineer saw Gordon fall onto the tracks. The engineer applied the emergency brakes and blew the horn, but the train was unable to avoid hitting the man, Riley said. Gordon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Riley said police were investigating whether alcohol played any role in Gordon’s fall. His friend was not injured, she said.

In the other accident, Pankavich was lying motionless on the tracks about 2,500 feet east of Central Islip station when he was struck by a westbound train around 11:18 a.m., Riley said.

She said the train was traveling at about 70 mph.

Police are investigating whether Pankavich touched the electrified third rail, which powers trains, before he was struck.

Pankavich’s family could not be reached for comment.

Gerard Gordon said his nephew had just completed his freshman year at Iona College in New Rochelle, where he was a liberal-arts major and played rugby.

A graduate of South Side High in Rockville Centre, Patrick had returned to his summer job at Jordan Lobster Farms in Island Park. “He was a great kid,” owner Steve Jordan said. “In the last year, he had really matured.”

Patrick has two sisters, ages 16 and 11, and a brother who is 14. “They’re very close,” Gerard Gordon said. “And my nephew is like my brother’s best friend.”

A wake will be held for Patrick J. Gordon Tuesday, 7 to 9 p.m., and Wednesday, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m., at Macken Mortuary, Rockville Centre. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, followed by burial in St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

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