HOBOKEN, N.J. — The Hoboken community held a candlelight vigil Thursday in memory of Fiola De Kroon, the 34-year-old mother who was standing on the platform at Hoboken Terminal last week when the NJ Transit train crashed while pulling into the station.
De Kroon was a relative newcomer to Hoboken, but more than 100 neighbors and friends gathered at Columbus Park, holding candles and standing for a solemn moment of silence.
De Kroon was struck by falling debris as the train failed to stop and slammed into the terminal. She was the only fatality in last week's train accident, in which more than 100 others were injured.
Speaking on behalf of the city, Hoboken Council President Jen Giattina said when something so tragic happens "in our community, it affects all of us and we have to be there for one another."
Along with a photo of DeKroon with her husband and 18-month-old daughter were the words, "Always in our heart." It was an emotional gathering with some women seen wiping tears from their eyes.
"As a community, we are shattered that something like this could happen so close to home. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time for an accident that never should have happened." Henderson remembered DeKroon as a "energetic, happy, beautiful individual," Caroline Henderson, one of the organizers of the vigil, told PIX11 News.
The vigil took place hours after the NTSB announced that the NJ Transit train was traveling twice the speed when it entered the station.
Thirty eight seconds before it crashed through a barrier at the end of the rails, the train accelerated from 8 mph to 21mph. The engineer applied the emergency brakes less than a second before impact.
The engineer is said to be cooperating with investigators, but has claimed he has no memory of the crash.