Railroad Collision In Valhalla Is Metro-North’s Deadliest

Ellen Schaeffer-Brody's funeral took place this morning at Chabad of the Rivertowns located in Dobbs Ferry. Brody, a married mother of three, attended SUNY Albany and Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, South Carolina. She worked at ICD Contemporary Jewelry located in Chappaqua as bookkeeper and sales associate for over a decade. Brody lived in Edgemont.

Eric Vandercar's services are for set for Friday afternoon in a private service at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Mount Kisco. Vandercar studied applied science at the University of Pennsylvania and received his MBA in finance from New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He most recently started working at Mesirow Financial. Vandercar was a husband and father of three who also coached soccer in the Town of Bedford Soccer League. He is remembered especially by the music community due to his legacy as a taper at the Live Music Archive.

View NBC's coverage of those lost in the crash below 


UPDATE (2/5): The Journal News has released the identities of all six of those killed in Tuesday night's Metro-North collision.

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The driver of the SUV involved in the collision was identified as Ellen Schaeffer Brody, 49, an Edgemont mother of three. The following five men were identified as the passengers who lost their lives in the collision and ensuing fire.

Eric Vandercar, 53, a Bedford father of two. Vandercar was a senior manger at Mesirow Financial.

Walter Liedtke, 69, a Bedford resident who is survived by his wife. Liedtke was a well-known art expert in the fields of Dutch and Flemish paintings.

Joseph Nadol, 42, a New Castle father of three, according to media reports.

Robert Dirks, 36, of Chappaqua.

Tomar Aditya, 41, of Danbury, Connecticut.


A deadly collision between a northbound Metro-North commuter train and a SUV stopped between the mechanical gates at a Valhalla train crossing on Tuesday left six dead and over a dozen injured, making it the deadliest accident in the rail service’s history.

The collision occurred on Metro-North’s Harlem Line west of the Taconic Parkway’s intersection with Commerce Street around 6:30 pm. The crash and a subsequent explosion caused both the SUV and the front car of the train to catch fire.

“It was a horrific scene,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “The inside of the car was melted and charred with the third rail going through it.”

Over 50 ambulances reported to the scene to assist those who had been injured. Of the 650 passengers riding, about 400 were taken to The Cliffs at Valhalla, a nearby sports club, for treatment.

The NTSB is currently awaiting data from the train’s onboard recording devices to provide more insight into the events surrounding the collision. 

Assemblyman David Buchwald (D, NY-93), who represents White Plains, called on Metro-North to provide answers regarding the accident.

“In the aftermath of the deadliest crash in the railroad’s history, there are questions that must be answered on behalf of Metro-North commuters throughout the region,” Buchwald said. “Could the railroad have done anything differently in light of human error? Can we do more to ensure that all train crossings across Westchester and Metro-North territory are clearly seen and understood by drivers to avoid confusion? Is there something in the train-car’s or track’s construction that should be modified to reduce the risk of fatalities in such accidents?”

Representative Eliot Engel (D, NY-16) offered his thanks to first responders and the NTSB for their quick actions after the crash.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of last night’s terrible Metro-North accident in Valhalla. I thank the courageous first responders who selflessly risked their safety to protect others,” Engel said. “I am also appreciative of the NTSB for acting quickly and vigilantly to investigate this accident, so that we may do everything possible to ensure the safety of all Metro-North riders.”

The collision is Metro-North’s second-ever accident that has resulted in passenger fatalities. The other deadly crash occurred in 2013 when a Hudson Line train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station, killing four.

Watch coverage of the crash from Fox News in the video below

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