VALHALLA, N.Y. -- A year ago on Wednesday at a Westchester railroad crossing, a few fateful minutes changed the lives of hundreds of Metro-North commuters and ended with six people dead.
Ellen Brody, 49, of Edgemont had left her job in Chappaqua before encountering a traffic jam along the Taconic State Parkway in Mount Pleasant that followed a head-on collision.
As bumper-to-bumper traffic was detoured over railroad tracks at Commerce Street, Brody briefly stepped out of her Mercedes SUV to check a crossing gate that came down on the rear of her car.
Brody and five others, Bedford Hills residents Eric Vandercar, 53, and Walter Liedtke, 69; New Castle residents Robert Dirks, 36, and Joseph Nadol, 42; and Aditya Tomar, 41, of Danbury, Conn., were killed.
Brody worked at ICD Contemporary Jewelers in Chappaqua for 15 years. She was married to Alan Brody and had three children.
Vandercar was a married father of two who worked at Mesirow Financial, having previously spent 27 years at Morgan Stanley. He was a devoted fan of live music and his favorite band was the jam band moe.
Liedtke was a European paintings curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was a distinguished scholar of Dutch and Flemish paintings. His wife, Nancy, is a retired teacher who worked for the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.
Dirks worked at D.E. Shaw Research and earned a doctoral degree in chemistry from CalTech. He grew up in Spokane, Wash.
Nadol worked at JP Morgan as a defense and aerospace analyst. Institutional Investor ranked Nadol as the No. 1 investor in the aerospace and defense electronics sector for six years in a row on its All American Research Team. He lived in New Castle, with an Ossining mailing address, with his wife and three children.
Tomar also worked at JP Morgan, having emigrated from India more than 20 years ago. He lived with his wife, Resha, near Danbury High School.
Jon Craig contributed to this report.
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