Watch CBS News

Amtrak Victims: College Dean, Tech CEO, Navy Midshipman, AP Software Architect, Wells Fargo VP

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) --  Five of the seven people killed in the Amtrak derailment in northeast Philadelphia have been identified, and their families have been left in shock and mourning.

The train was speeding moments before it crashed, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. More than 200 people were injured in the derailment that plunged screaming passengers into darkness and chaos when the accident happened Tuesday night.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, still missing Wednesday night was Bob Gildersleeve, a Maryland man with family in New Jersey.

And as CBS2 and 1010 WINS reported, a Brooklyn educator was identified as a victim in the deadly derailment on Wednesday night, according to several sources.

Sources said Derrick Griffith, the dean of students at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn was killed in the crash. Griffith was also the founding principal at CUNY Prep School, WINS reported.

"Thank you for all of the thoughtful texts and tributes on Facebook for our founder, our Principal, our friend Derrick Griffith. We are all struggling with this terrible news and trying to find our way during this sad time. CUNY Prep will be closed tomorrow for day school and CTA students. The staff will be there to mourn together and provide support to those in need," the school said in a statement.

Web Extra: CBS Philly | Photos: Deadly Derailment

Another victim was 20-year-old U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Justin Zemser.

Zemser was a cadet at the U.S. Naval Academy and a member of the Navy football team.

Susan Zemser said she was expecting her son to arrive home at about 10:30 p.m., 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported. But when she went online to see if the train was on time, she had learned it derailed.

Justin Zemser
Justin Zemser

She said she received a call that Justin had died early Wednesday morning.

"He was supposed to come home last night ... at 10:30. And when I went online to see, you know, if everything was on time, they said there was a derailment. All night we kept on calling hospitals but nothing. And then we got the phone call this morning that my son has passed."

"Our son was Midship Justin Zemser, he was born on March 25, 1995," she said. "He was his high school valedictorian and was just finishing up his second year as midshipman at the United States Naval Academy."

Channel View High School Assistant Principal Remembers Justin Zemser

The heartbroken mother called Justin a wonderful son whom everyone looked up to, D'Auria said.

"He was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful," said Zemser.

Khaliq Easley told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell he played on the same high school football team as Zemser.

Grieving Mother Of Justin Zemser Speaks Out After Amtrak Derailment

"Cool guy, you know, very smart. Just a very uplifting person. Cool personality and everything," Easley sad.

The school in Annapolis, Maryland, notified the brigade of midshipman, staff and faculty on Wednesday morning.

At the Academy, friends of Zemser recalled his outgoing friendliness.

"He was a hard worker. Didn't pass the opportunity to speak to someone in the hallway," Bryce Musgrove said.

Jim Gaines
Jim Gaines

An Associated Press video software architect was also killed in the derailment.

Jim Gaines, a 48-year-old father of two, had attended meetings in Washington. He was returning home to Plainsboro, New Jersey, when the train derailed Tuesday night. His death was confirmed by his wife, Jacqueline.

Gaines joined the AP in 1998 and was a key factor in nearly all of the news agency's video initiatives, including a service providing live video to hundreds of clients worldwide.

Gaines won AP's "Geek of the Month'' award in May 2012 for his "tireless dedication and contagious passion'' to technological innovation.

He was part of a team that won the AP Chairman's Prize in 2006 for developing the agency's Online Video Network.

He is also survived by 16-year-old son Oliver and 11-year-old daughter Anushka.

Gaines' family issued the following statement Wednesday: "The family of Jim Gaines thanks you for your prayers and support at this difficult time. Jim was more precious to us than we can adequately express. We kindly request that you respect our wishes for privacy as we absorb this incredible loss. In due time, we will make a statement that will fully reflect the incredible person that Jim was. Thank you,"  Jacqueline Gaines and family.

Abid Gilani
Abid Gilani (LinkedIn)

A third victim was identified Wednesday afternoon as 55-year-old Abid Gilani. Gilani was a Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo in New York.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Wells Fargo called Gilani a 'valued member' of their Commercial Real Estate division.

"Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy," the statement said.

Hospitals also have treated more than 200 people injured in the crash.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said some people remained unaccounted for, raising fears the death toll could rise, though he cautioned that some passengers listed on the Amtrak manifest might not have boarded the train, while others might not have checked in with authorities.

Rachel Jacobs, a passenger who was initially unaccounted for, has now been confirmed among those killed, CBS2 reported.

The 39-year-old is the CEO of a technology education company and lives in Manhattan, CBS2's Diane Macedo reported.

Rachel Jacobs
Rachel Jacobs (credit: Image via CBS2)

A co-worker said Jacobs, a wife and mother of two, commutes to Philadelphia twice a week from her home on the Lower East Side.

Jacobs' family released a statement, saying "This is an unthinkable tragedy. Rachel was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend. She was devoted to her family, her community and the pursuit of social justice. We cannot imagine life without her. We respectfully ask for privacy so that we can begin the process of grieving."

The accident closed the nation's busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.