Woman killed in Hoboken train crash had just dropped off baby girl at daycare
HOBOKEN — The woman who was killed while standing on the train platform in Thursday morning's deadly crash has been identified as a 34-year-old Hoboken mother.
The State Medical Examiner’s Office Fabiola Bittar de Kroon was the only victim to succumb to crash-related injuries on Thursday.
Before getting to the station, the Brazil native had dropped off her baby daughter at daycare.
Daycare director Maria Sharp said de Kroon had recently moved to the United States with her husband and daughter.
"You just saw a smile on her face every time she came to pick up her daughter," Sharp told The Associated Press, "and that's what I keep seeing."
De Kroon, 34, worked for the software company SAP in its legal department in Brazil until earlier this year, when she moved to New Jersey after her husband got a job with an international liquor company.
SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the company was "shaken by the news."
Authorities say De Kroon was struck by debris after a NJ Transit train smashed through a wall at the Hoboken terminal on Thursday morning, injuring 108 people. The victims were taken to Jersey City Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center and Christ Hospital in Jersey City.
Shortly after the crash, NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder told New Jersey 101.5 the train — No. 1614 on the Pascack Valley Line — had left Spring Valley, New York, and was due to arrive in Hoboken at 8:28 a.m. The train derailed from Track 5.
De Kroon's LinkedIn page says she's worked as a corporate attorney and attended Florida International University.
The train engineer, who officials earlier had described as being critically injured in the crash, was released from the hospital late Thursday afternoon. Gov. Chris Christie said the engineer, who has not been identified, was cooperating with investigators. Authorities did not describe the extent of the engineer's injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board said its investigators will remain on the scene for the next seven to 10 days. The NTSB expects to extract the train’s black box from the locomotive in order to figure out what caused the crash.
Speaking to hosts Deminski and Doyle on New Jersey 101.5, the governor said the NTSB has taken over the investigation.
"We’re going to have to sit back and let them do their work. We’re helping them in any way we can,” Christie said.
According to the governor, crews will be working in the coming days to remove some of the crash debris from the century-old train terminal. He said the process requires caution because there may be asbestos in the aging building. Christie believes that once the repairs are complete, the terminal will maintain its structural integrity.
In addition, the power structures in the terminal have to be repaired because the crash pulled down live wires, requiring crews to shut down power to the building.
Christie said investigators still don't know what caused the train to come in at a higher-than-normal rate of speed.
"NJ Transit trains are safe," he said. "We do not have and have not had train accidents like this one in a very long time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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