Met Museum Curator and Financial Trader, Scientist Among Train Crash Victims

Five Metro-North passengers were killed in the crash.

ByABC News
February 5, 2015, 11:23 AM
Walter Liedtke, left, and Eric Vandercar have been confirmed as passengers that died in the Metro-North train crash.
Walter Liedtke, left, and Eric Vandercar have been confirmed as passengers that died in the Metro-North train crash.
Metropolitan Museum of Art | Mesirow Financial

— -- A financial trader, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a scientist have been identified as three of the five passengers who died in Tuesday night's train crash in suburban New York.

Eric Vandercar, Walter Liedtke, and Robert Dirks' deaths have been confirmed by their companies.

Relatives of the victims were sent to the county medical examiner's office Wednesday to confirm the identities.

Vandercar, a married 53-year-old father, worked as a senior managing director in the New York office of Mesirow Financial.

"Eric was not only a pillar in our industry, he was a great partner and friend to many. Losing him is a huge loss, personally and professionally," the company said in a statement released to ABC News.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art confirmed Liedtke's death, saying that they were "deeply saddened by this tragic loss."

"Walter Liedtke was a brilliant, respected curator and scholar of Dutch and Flemish paintings who was part of the Met family for 35 years," the statement said. "He will long be remembered for his vast knowledge, his wit, and a passion for art that inspired all who came in contact with him."

The mayor of New Castle, New York, identified 42-year-old Joseph Nadol and 36-year-old Robert Dirks as victims in the crash. The fifth victim, 41-year-old Aditya Tomar, was identified by the mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, to ABC News station WABC.

Dirks' employer, D.E. Shaw Research, recalled him as a co-worker, husband and father.

"Robert was a brilliant scientist who made tremendous contributions to our own research, and to the broader scientific community, during his eight years at D. E. Shaw Research," the company said in a statement. "He will be deeply missed as both a colleague and a friend. Our hearts go out to his wife Christine and their children."

All five of the passengers who died were seated in the first car of the Metro-North train when it crashed into a Mercedes SUV that was on the tracks Tuesday.

The driver of the SUV was also killed in the crash and ensuing explosion. She has been identified as Ellen Brody, a mother of three who worked at a nearby jewelry store.

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation into the crash, which was the most fatal in Metro North's history.

The investigation is expected to take nearly a week and crews were seen starting to move the train and SUV from the crash site early this evening.

ABC News' Mark Cruedele contributed to this report.