James Lovell, of Putnam County, who was headed to the city to work on lighting up the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, was among those killed in Sunday’s accident. Others were Ahn Kisook of Queens, James Ferrari of Montrose and Donna Smith of Newburgh.
James Lovell’s son described his dad’s death in the tragic Metro-North derailment Sunday as “an awful nightmare.”
“Words can’t express how much my father meant to me,” Finn Lovell wrote on Twitter. “It’s safe to say he molded me into the man I am today. I love you and miss you. I can’t believe you’re gone. This feels like an awful nightmare that I can't wake up from.”
Lovell, 58, was the husband of a councilwoman in Philipstown, Putnam County, a father of four and a screenwriter. He was also a lighting designer and was on his way to work on the Wednesday lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
He worked for 20 years for NBC’s “Today” show as an audio technician, the show’s executive producer, Don Nash, told staff in a memo.
“He was not only a skilled technician but also one of the nicest guys you ever met,” Nash said.
The MTA Police Department said Ahn Kisook, 35, of Queens, James Ferrari, 59, of Montrose, and Donna Smith, 54, of Newburgh, were also killed in the horrific crash.
“I’m stunned,” said Kisook’s roommate “Hannah” Jung Heejung, 28, of Woodside. “I’m really shocked right now. “She was so nice. ”
She said Kisook was originally from South Korea, arrived in the U.S. about a year ago and worked the night shift as a nurse. According to Kisook’s LinkedIn page, she was a registered nurse at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
“As of right now, the family would like to keep quiet and mourn his life,” said a man who identified himself as Vinnie and called himself a family friend.
Smith’s neighbors remembered the paralegal as a hard-worker who was a committed volunteer and very close to her sister Linda, who may have been on the train with her.
“She worked very hard and she would spend her weekends with the Girl Scouts,” said Lynn Davis, 60, who lives next door.
Cerone and Davis said Smith’s mother died two years ago, and their father a few years before that.
The sisters were inseparable, Cerone said. “They were like best friends and sisters . . . They did everything together.”