Husband of woman in car struck by Metro-North train speaks out

EMBED </>More Videos

Jim Hoffer has the story. (WABC)

It was a shocking rail accident; a mother of three was caught between crossing gates, her car hit by the train, and the explosion killed five passengers on the Metro-North train.

The driver's husband says Metro-North is to blame.

For the first time, Alan Brody speaking out about the accident that forever changed his life.

He says the crossing was dangerous and he wants it shut down immediately.

Even hours after hearing the breaking news about the rail crossing collision, Alan Brody never thought it could have involved his wife since she never went home that way. He did however remember the crossing from having driven through it years ago and as a former train conductor being struck by how odd and unsafe the rural location seemed.

"I remember thinking at the time, if someone were not a local they'd be looking for trouble. This is a spring-loaded trap; I never thought my wife would go there, never in a million years," said Alan Brody, the victim's husband.

His wife, Ellen ended up there because of a detour. Alan Brody believes a combination of factors contributed to the accident that killed his wife and 5 train passengers:

"Combination of line of sight, signage, missing and gross drastic change in expectations," Brody said.

Brody claims that state knew the crossing was dangerous and had even approved $130,000 in 2009 to make safety upgrades. In his notice to file a lawsuit against the state and Metro North, he blames them for failure to utilize those funds. He says many grade crossings rely on 100-year-old mechanics for safety.

"Other countries are ahead of us. This is a shock to the system to find out we are living in the past and willing to build future on infrastructure from the past and not make appropriate adjustments," Brody said.

He says the grade crossing where is wife was killed should be shut down immediately. As for coping with life without Ellen, he and his three daughters feel her presence through her many friends.

"All those peoples whose lives she touched, 20 years ago, came back to give support, extraordinary and really is a lesson in life that why you do really does matter, it really does come back and we saw that and we felt that and that has strengthened us," Brody said.

Alan Brody says he is now on a mission to improve railroad grade crossing by making the signs and the lights less confusing and more in line with highway signage.

The NTSB has yet to determine what caused the accident.
Related Topics:
metro northmetro north accidenttrain crashtrain safetycar accidentinvestigatorsValhalla
(Copyright ©2018 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)