Ellen Brody, an Edgemont mother of a high school junior, was the driver of the SUV that was hit last night by the Metro North train in Valhalla. Five passengers on the train and Ms. Brody were killed in the accident.
Edgemont high school personnel this morning offered counseling to distraught friends of the high school junior and gave grieving students the opportunity to go home if they wished. Because nothing had been confirmed officially, school officials did not to disclose Ms. Brody’s identity. Instead, school superintendent Victoria Kniewel said the intent was to “support students who were upset.”
The accident occurred about 6:30 p.m. when the Harlem Line train out of Grand Central Terminal struck Ms. Brody’s black Mercedes-Benz SUV at the narrow, two-lane Commerce Street crossing, causing an explosion that engulfed both the car and the train.
“The gates came down on top of the vehicle, which was stopped on the tracks,” Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement. “The driver got out to look at the rear of the car, then she got back in and drove forward and was struck.”
Ms. Brody worked in Chappaqua and was reportedly heading home in traffic on the Taconic. There has been speculation that because of an earlier accident on that part of the Taconic, also known there as part of the Bronx River Parkway, rush hour traffic was being diverted to Commerce Street.
Ms. Brody is survived by Alan Brody, and their three daughters, one of whom, Alexa, is a junior at the high school. Their daughter Danielle, a graduate of EHS Class of 2010, worked as an intern at the Scarsdale Inquirer and more recently, at the Journal News. Their daughter Julia graduated from EHS in 2014.
The ECC had posted this information earlier today, but removed the page at the request of friends close to the Brody family. We decided to repost the information after several media outlets called to say that Ms. Brody’s name had been publicly released to the media by Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.