Jewish Naval Academy Student Justin Zemser Named Among Six Killed In Amtrak Crash


justin-zemser1A 20-year-old Jewish U.S. Naval Academy student who was heading home on leave and a 48-year-old father-of-two have been named as the first Amtrak train derailment victims.

Justin Zemser, an only child, was traveling home to Rockaway Beach, New York to see his mother when the train came off the tracks at Frankford Junction near Philadelphia just before 9.30pm on Tuesday, killing at least six people, leaving eight in critical condition and injuring more than 200.

Jim Gaines, who designed video software for the Associated Press, was also named among the victims. He had been attending meetings in Washington and was heading home to Plainsboro, New Jersey at the time of the crash, his wife, Jacqueline, said. They have two children, aged 11 and 16.

As reported earlier here on Matzav, friends have also expressed their fears for Rachel Jacobs, a 39-year-old tech CEO and married mother, who texted her husband to say she was on the train, Train 188, ahead of the crash and has not been heard from since.

The Daily Mail reports that the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland confirmed that one of their students was among the fatalities.

‘The Naval Academy is deeply saddened to report that a midshipman was named as one of the passengers who lost their life in the AMTRAK train which crashed in north Philadelphia at approximately 9:30 p.m. last night,’ it said in a statement.

Justin’s mother, Susan Zemser, confirmed his name to ABC News and said he was just finishing his second year at the academy. His body is being released to his family without an autopsy.

{CB Newscenter}


  1. Boruch Dayan Emes.
    What a tragedy and a horror, caused (apparently) by an engineer who was driving with excessive speed and the utmost disregard for the lives of his passengers.