Details about victims of Metro-North crash put a human face on tragedy

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VALHALLA, N.Y. (PIX11) -- A day after six people lost their lives in the Metro-North train crash, a human face is emerging from the tragedy, as the identities of the deceased become known, and more is learned about the lives they led.

The northbound express train on the Harlem Line slammed into a Mercedes SUV that had somehow gotten on to the tracks just north of the Valhalla MetroNorth station. Ellen Brody, 49, of Edgemont was the driver of that SUV.

The mother of three was killed instantly in the collision, which happened as she was driving home from the Chappaqua jewelry shop where she worked.

Brody was on her way home to Edgemont.

An employee at ICD Contemporary Jewelry told Lohud that Brody brought out the best in people.

She also said Brody was a very careful driver.

Brody and her family were well known in Edgemont, where many people are in mourning over the loss, as her family plans her funeral.

In the front car of the train were at least three men who perished. Two were successful financial industry executives, the other was a renowned art expert.

A passenger killed in the crash was 53-year-old Eric Vandercar.

Vandercar was a senior managing director at Mesirow Financial in Midtown. He lived in Bedford, and was well-known online as a fan of live music, which he shared with hundreds of followers on Twitter and other social media.

He was on his way home from work.

Vandercar shared music recordings of bands like the Radiators and Spin Doctors online.

The band moe., posted a tribute to Vandercar on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

"Words can’t express how devastated we are today. We’ve lost so much more than a major moe. fan, we’ve lost a very good friend. Eric Vandercar will always be remembered - whether he was enjoying the music from the front row, or hanging out backstage with us, chatting with that easy smile of his. He was there during our early days at the Wetlands, and we just recently got to spend time with him in Jamaica," the post said.

The third passenger killed who has been identified was 69-year-old Walter Liedtke of Bedford Hills.

Liedtke, 69, was one of the world's foremost experts on European paintings. He was a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

The Met's President Thomas P. Campbell posted a tribute to Liedtke on Instagram Wednesday afternoon.

"Walter was one of the preeminent scholars of Dutch and Flemish painting, whose contribution to the field lives on in a range of scholarly and popular publications," Campbell wrote to accompany a Rembrandt painting that Liedtke spoke about in a recent webisode for the Met.

According to LoHud, Liedtke's career at the Met spanned over three decades.

Liedtke wrote several books about influential European painters including Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Rembrandt.

Also in the first rail car, which crashed and erupted into flame, was Joseph Nadol, 42. He was an aerospace industry analyst at JP Morgan. At his sprawling home in Ossining, the heaviness was palpable.

His wife did not want to talk about her loss, but her mother told PIX11 News that the family is taking it hard. She said that Wednesday is his wife's birthday, and that he left behind three young sons, who had come to the door while PIX11 was there Wednesday afternoon.

PIX11 affiliate Fox CT confirmed that Danbury, Conn., resident Aditya Tomar is among the six people killed.

Tomar, who was married, worked in asset management at JPMorgan in New York City.  Tomar was born in India and didn't have children.

The fifth person killed in the accident was identified as New Castle resident Joseph Nadol, 42, was a father of three whose students attended Hackley School in Tarrytown, according to the Journal News.  He worked as a managing director at JPMorgan.

A dozen more were injured and rushed to Westchester Medical Center after the Tuesday evening crash.

"On my way up here," said Ivan Miller, M.D., the medical directer of the hospital, "I called my dad to see if he was on the train. and he wasn't."

Dr. Miller told PIX11 News how this trauma felt personal. One of the main doctors who worked the trauma unit that took in the dozen injured passengers from the crash told me about how this was a very local tragedy.

He said that pretty much everyone in western Westchester has ridden the express train or is at least familiar with it. "It hits home," Dr. Miller said.

A research scientist from Chappaqua is also among the deceased. Robert Dirks, 36, was a scientist at D.E. Shaw Research in Manhattan.

Dirks was a husband and father of two young children. His wife had formerly worked at D.E. Shaw.

As of Wednesday evening, one passenger is in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center, one is serious, four are in fair condition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.