Services will be held in Queens for one of the victims killed in Sunday’s Metro-North train derailment.
Kisook Ahn, a 35-year-old Woodside resident, had just finished the night shift as a registered nurse the morning of December 1 when the passenger train she was riding in derailed in the Bronx, killing her and three others.
A wake for Ahn will take place Friday at the Central Funeral Home of New York, located at 136-25 41st Avenue in Flushing, at 8 p.m., according to Sheldon Meikle, international director at Perfect Choice Staffing, which was sponsoring Ahn for permanent residency.
The following day a funeral will be held at Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church, located at 58-02 Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, at 10:30 a.m., where, Ahn, who was a devout Christian, was a parishioner, said Meikle.
Ahn’s brother and brother-in-law flew in from South Korea on Wednesday, said Meikle. She is also survived by a twin sister, he said.
According to Meikle, Ahn arrived in the U.S. from South Korea in 2008 as part of Lehman College’s exchange program with Sungshin Women’s University. In 2009, she completed an accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing and received a master’s degree in the school’s family nurse practitioner program in 2012.
“We are completely stunned and saddened by today’s news,” said Catherine Alicia Georges, chair of Lehman College’s nursing department. “Kisook was a model student, who did well in both her undergraduate and graduate programs.”
In memory of Kisook Ahn, Perfect Choice Staffing has established The Kisook Ahn Fund for Korean Nurses at Lehman College., according to Meikle.
Checks should be made out to “Lehman College Foundation/Kisook-Ahn” and sent to: Lehman College Foundation, Shuster Hall 310, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468.
In addition to the four killed, of the approximately 150 people aboard, dozens were injured when the seven-car train, coming from Poughkeepsie and heading to Grand Central Terminal, jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and MTA.
At a press briefing, the NTSB said the locomotive was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, according to preliminary information from the train’s event recorders.
Speed was a contributing factor in the crash, but the NTSB said it did not know at this time if the accident was due to human or equipment error.
The agency said results from the crew alcohol breath tests were all negative, but results of drug tests are still pending.
It also said that based on data, there was no indication that the brakes were not functioning properly on the train.
The NTSB said that it has removed the Association of Commuter Rail Employees (ACRE) as “a participant in its investigation” into the derailment, citing a press conference and media interviews in which Anthony Bottalico, general chairman of ACRE “discussed and interpreted information related to the ongoing investigation.”
Bottalico, according to published reports, said that the engineer, William Rockefeller, nodded off right before the derailment.
A lawyer for the engineer has said he was in a hypnotic-like “daze” before he noticed something was wrong and hit the brakes, according to published reports.
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