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Funerals Held For 2 Metro-North Derailment Victims

Friends, Families Remember Jim Lovell & Donna Smith
Deadly Derailment

COLD SPRING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Family and friends gathered Friday to remember two of the victims of the Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx.

Jim Lovell’s funeral was held Friday morning at Our Lady of Loretto Church in Cold Spring.

Overcast skies drizzled atop Lovell casket as his widow and his four children, along with hundreds of mourners, bid him farewell.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, his wife addressed the crowd after entering the church and thanked them for their support. She said her family will be relying on the community’s support to get them through this difficult time.

“Really a purely good, genuine person,” family friend John Maasik said.

“Because we’re such a small community, losses are felt so much more keenly and the blow is that much sharper,” Philipstown Town Supervisor Richard Shea told Burrell.

“His kids adored him. Just a generous, warm person,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) told Burrell. “The reason this has resonated so powerfully is because all of us in the Hudson Valley feel like this could have been me.”

Lovell, a sound and lighting expert, was headed to work on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree when the Hudson line train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station. Four people, including Lovell, were killed and more than 60 were hurt.

The TV broadcast of Wednesday’s tree-lighting was dedicated to Lovell, a married father of four. Longtime friend Janet Barton said he was beloved and that he also enjoyed wind surfing and playing guitar.

Across the Hudson River in Newburgh, fellow train passenger Donna Smith was laid to rest Friday. She was headed to Lincoln Center to hear her sister sing Handel’s “Messiah” with a choral group.

She was on the train with her sister when she died. Her sister walked away with minor injuries.

“Very good woman. Did a lot for the community, a lot for the church, did a lot of the Girl Scouts,” Cronomer Valley Deputy Fire Chief George Resto told Burrell. “She lit up the place.”

Smith, 54, was a paralegal and an auxiliary chaplain with a local fire department.

“It’s tragic what happen, but God has an angel,” said Resto.

Her family offered thanks to emergency responders and hospital staff for support in their time of need.

Mourners for both victims laid to rest Friday said the deaths have left voids that can’t ever be filled.

“Jim, thanks for all you taught us and you’re a great friend,” Shea said.

Lovell’s friends have set up a fund for his family to help with his funeral and other expenses. So far, they have raised more than $100,000.

James Ferrari of Montrose was buried Thursday.

At Ferrari’s funeral, his brother said the derailment was “just not fair” because Ferrari had found the loving family he wanted.

Friends told CBS 2 that Ferrari worked six days a week, traveling from Montrose to his job as super of a commercial building in Midtown. They said that train was the same one he had taken for years.

A wake will be held Friday night for the fourth victim, Kisook Ahn. The South Korean immigrant lived in Woodside, Queens and worked at a rehab center for children in Ossining.

Her funeral will be held in Woodside on Saturday.

The engineer behind the controls, William Rockefeller, remains suspended without pay while the investigation continues.

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