New Jersey man among 7 victims of fatal Amtrak accident

As the investigation into the fatal Amtrak train derailment continues, more information is coming out about the victims of the crash.

At least seven people died and more than 200 were injured when Amtrak Train 188 derailed while traveling through Philadelphia Tuesday at around 9:30 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board says the train was traveling at 106 mph around a curve only meant for 50 mph.

So far, five of the victims have been identified.

Among those killed was Jim Gaines, of Plainsboro. Gaines was a married father of two who worked as a video software architect for the Associated Press since 1998.

Another victim was Justin Zemser, 20, a midshipmen studying at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland. He was on his way home to Queens at the time of the crash.

Also identified were Rachel Jacobs, a 39-year-old mother of two from New York, and Abid Gilani, a 55-year-old Vice President with Wells Fargo traveling to a family funeral.

The fifth victim has been identified as Derrick Griffith. Griffith was a teacher at Medgar Evers College from Brooklyn.

Tales of heroism have also begun to come out in the wake of the crash.

One of the most heroic survivors is from Watchung. Max Helfman, 19, was traveling with his mother back home when the crash happened. After making sure his mother was OK, he went to help others.

"Looking around the car I saw that there were so many people in much worse condition than I was," says Helfman. "I was up, I was able to walk. I just did what I could to get people out of that car."

Another example is Lyndhurst Police Officer Michael Keane. Officer Keane was on his way back from the Police Unity Tour. He helped his fiancee and other passengers get out of the wreckage. He was even able to get the conductor out of the train.

A doctor with Temple University Hospital says most of the injured he treated had fractured ribs. Many of the 200 injured have been released from the hospital at this time.

The NTSB and officials in Philadelphia are still conducting an investigation to find out exactly how the crash occurred.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."