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Danbury Man Among Victims In Metro-North Train Crash

Westchester Medical Center officials, from left, Dr. Ivan Miller, Dr. Joseph Turkowski and nurse Patricia Wrobbel, address the media Wednesday. Westchester Medical Center officials, from left, Dr. Ivan Miller, Dr. Joseph Turkowski and nurse Patricia Wrobbel, address the media Wednesday.
Westchester Medical Center officials, from left, Dr. Ivan Miller, Dr. Joseph Turkowski and nurse Patricia Wrobbel, address the media Wednesday. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Ellen Brody, 49, of Edgemont was the SUV driver killed in Tuesday night's collision with a Metro-North train. Ellen Brody, 49, of Edgemont was the SUV driver killed in Tuesday night's collision with a Metro-North train.
Ellen Brody, 49, of Edgemont was the SUV driver killed in Tuesday night's collision with a Metro-North train. Photo Credit: Provided by ICD Contemporary Jewelry
Walter Liedtke, 69, of Bedford Hills Walter Liedtke, 69, of Bedford Hills
Walter Liedtke, 69, of Bedford Hills Photo Credit: 82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org
Eric Vandercar, 53, of Bedford Hills Eric Vandercar, 53, of Bedford Hills
Eric Vandercar, 53, of Bedford Hills Photo Credit: Merisrow Financial

DANBURY, Conn. - A 41-year-old Danbury man was among the six people who were killed Tuesday night in a fiery collision between a Metro-North train and an SUV in Valhalla, N.Y., according to officials in Westchester County.

Aditya Tomar, 41, of 17 Terrace St., was one of five passengers who died in the front car of the train, according to the report. No further information was available about him. 

All five victims in the train were men, according to Westchester County officials, who identified the victims late Wednesday.

Two of those killed were residents of Bedford Hills, N.Y.: Eric Vandercar and Walter Liedtke.

Vandercar, 53, an investment banker, is survived by a wife and two children.

Walter Liedtke, 69, was a curator and historian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

New Castle residents Robert Dirks, 36, and Joseph Nadol, 42, were identified as the other Westchester fatalities, according to Westchester officials.

The female driver of the SUV was Ellen Brody, a resident of Edgemont, N.Y., Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said.

Feiner said the 49-year-old mother of three was "a really exceptional person, very nice and very warm."

Brody, who worked in Chappaqua at ICD Contemporary Jewelry, is also survived her husband.

For more on Brody, click here.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino  said families of the five victims aboard the train and the female driver of the SUV gathered at the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday.

"All but one of the bodies is beyond recognition," Astorino said, adding dental records for victims were being gathered.

"Most of the families have been in contact with the Medical Examine or MTA police," Astorino said.

Westchester Medical Center officials said in the early afternoon that a total of 15 people were injured in the crash. Seven were initially in critical condition with one remaining in critical condition.

Four of the injured have been released from the hospital.

Dr. Ivan Miller said one patient "mentioned to me he had just changed seats. It saved his life."

Miller said Westchester Medical Center activated "mass casualty incident" protocol, meaning they mobilized extra staff, brought in extra supplies and started moving less serious patients out of the Emergency Room.

Among the injuries were burns, inhalation injuries and crush injuries as well as open fractures, minor head injuries and cuts.

NTSB Vice Chairman Robert Sumwalt, who arrived in Westchester on Wednesday morning, said the investigation would continue as scheduled this week even in the event of bad weather.

"We have several busy days ahead of us," he said. "We want to find out not only what happened, but why it happened so it won't happen again."

Sumwalt said the NTSB has experts in railroad signals, traffic signals, railroad crossing signals, recorders and emergency response as part of its team on the scene.

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