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HELICOPTER SPOTS CAR ON TRACKS, ALERTS TRAIN AND PREVENTS ACCIDENT

A police helicopter flashed its white landing lights to alert an oncoming commuter train of a disabled car on the tracks, averting an accident, Suffolk County police said Wednesday.

A spokesman for police said the incident occurred at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday at North Paquatuck Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road tracks.A police helicopter piloted by Officer Steve Wagner was flying in the East Moriches area, helping Fifth Precinct police search for suspects in a burglary in the area.

When a report of a car stuck on the tracks was dispatched, Wagner flew to the site and saw both the car and an oncoming train apparently unaware of the problem ahead, the spokesman said.

Wagner hovered over the tracks and was able to make the engineer aware of the problem by flashing his landing lights, the spokesman said.

The vehicle was removed and it was discovered it had been stolen from the earlier burglary and apparently used by the suspects, the spokesman said.

The vehicle was impounded and the investigation continued.