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Family of driver killed in N.Y. train-SUV collision plans to sue

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- The family of the SUV driver involved in a deadly collision with a Metro-North commuter train plans to sue the railroad.

Ellen Brody's family filed a notice of claim that names the railroad, the MTA, Westchester County, the town of Mount Pleasant and the state as defendants.

Metro-North crash spotlights train and rail safety issues

The 49-year-old mother of three was killed when a train struck her SUV on Feb. 3 at a grade crossing in Valhalla. The impact sparked an explosion and fire. Five train passengers also were killed.

Brody's family says the collision was caused by a hazardous railroad crossing. Their attorney, Philip Russotti, says a badly designed railroad crossing and poor sight lines were to blame.

The Journal News says the MTA declined to comment. The other defendants didn't respond to requests for comment.

According to a preliminary NTSB report, in addition to Brody, the victims were: Joseph Nadol, 42, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive, Aditya Tomar, 41, who worked in asset management at JPMorgan, and Robert Dirks, 36, a research scientist at D.E. Shaw Research in Manhattan were killed in the crash. All six suffered blunt-force injuries and burns, a medical examiner said.

Heroic passengers help save others from Metro-North train disaster

In February, Sen. Charles Schumer released a statement following the NTSB's preliminary report on the crash, calling the train's engineer a hero.

"The report underscores that Steven Smalls Jr. was a true hero in the face of a horrible situation; his quick reaction in slowing the train and subsequent rescue of injured passengers saved numerous lives," the statement said in part, according to CBS New York.

Schumer also called on the Metro-North and the Federal Railroad Administration to study the report "in search of any changes that can make rail crossings safer on the near term."

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