WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal investigators have released a preliminary report on the fiery collision between a Metro-North train and an SUV that killed six people.
A Harlem Line train crashed into a Mercedes SUV on Feb. 3 at a grade crossing in Valhalla, sparking an explosion and fire that burned out the first car of the train.
Ellen Brody, the SUV driver; Walter Liedtke, a curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Eric Vandercar, 53, a senior managing director at Mesirow Financial; Joseph Nadol, 42, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive; Aditya Tomar, 41, who worked in asset management at JPMorgan; and Robert Dirks, 36, a research scientist at D.E. Shaw Research in Manhattan, were killed. All six suffered blunt-force injuries and burns, a medical examiner said.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigators’ preliminary report confirms many previously disclosed findings. One new disclosure is that the crash cost the railroad about $3.7 million in damage.
“The SUV was stopped on the railroad tracks in the highway-rail grade crossing and was positioned in an easterly direction when the railroad crossing gates moved to the closed position. Witnesses reported the driver of the SUV as being stopped in the crossing prior to the gates lowering,” investigators said. “When the gate lowered it struck the rear portion of the SUV after which the driver exited the SUV, looked at the back of the SUV, then got back in the SUV, drove forward (east), and was struck by the train.”