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Brody Family Sues Metro-North After Mother's Fatal Collision With Train

Ellen Brody's three daughters were interviewed in March for NBC's Today Show.
Ellen Brody's three daughters were interviewed in March for NBC's Today Show. Photo Credit: NBC Today Show

EDGEMONT, N.Y. -- The family of Ellen Brody, the 49-year-old woman whose collision with a commuter train on Feb. 3 resulted in the deadliest crash in Metro-North's history, filed a notice of claim to sue on Monday.

The notice is the first step in initiating the lawsuit.

Philip Russotti, a Manhattan attorney  representing the Brody family from Edgemont, said in a statement, "This horrific accident was not the fault of Ellen Brody."

It is at least the third lawsuit initiated after the crash between Brody's Mercedes SUV and the train, killing Brody and five male passengers.

Brody's SUV was inside a crossing gate at Commerce Street in Valhalla when the northbound train struck her car.

A witness told police and federal investigators that Brody got out of her car at the gate, which had closed on the back of her car. Brody got back into the SUV and pulled forward into the train's path about 6:30 p.m., the witness said.

There are flashing lights, but no bells or audible noises at that crossing. The train's engineer said he sounded his horn once he saw the car, but it was too late to stop. It pushed the SUV about 1,000 feet. The  electrified third rail pierced the first two cars and there was an explosion and fire, injuring other passengers and crew.

The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate. Several crossing gates have malfunctioned in Westchester County and Connecticut since the deadly accident.

Russotti cited several contributing factors, including what he called a poorly designed railroad crossing in Valhalla.

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