VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The National Transportation Safety Board has released dozens of documents and photos pertaining to the deadly Metro-North Railroad crash in Valhalla last February, including blood and alcohol tests for the driver of the SUV that collided with the train.
According to the NTSB report, no illicit drugs or alcohol was found in Ellen Brody’s system at the time of the crash.
On Feb. 3, a Harlem line train collided with Brody’s Mercedes Benz SUV as it sat in the Commerce Street grade crossing in Valhalla, killing Brody and five passengers in the lead train car.
Train track speed in the area was 60 mph. Investigators found the train was moving at 58 mph before the engineer hit the emergency brake about 300 feet ahead of the crossing. The brake slowed the train to 49 mph in four seconds when it hit the SUV, according to the NTSB report.
The NTSB said the collision caused an estimated 386 feet of third rail to detach and pierce the lead train car, sparking a fire that consumed the entire railcar. Detached third rail was also found to have pierced the SUV, which was completely destroyed by fire, the NTSB report said.
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 also killed.
According to investigators, Brody’s car was in the danger zone inside railroad crossing gates for about half a minute before the train hit.
According to newly released data from the NTSB, Brody was not using her cellphone at the time of the crash. Her last phone call was made at 6:11 p.m. The crash occurred at 6:26 p.m.
An interview with Brody’s husband revealed she was well rested before the crash, getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep in the three nights prior.
The NTSB also released a host of documents and photos on train maintenance, witness statements, police and fire reports and third rail specifications.