Plainsboro Resident Jim Gaines Among 7 People Killed in Amtrak Train Derailment


Plainsboro resident Jim Gaines, 48, was one of the 7 people who have been confirmed dead in the Amtrak train derailment that took place northeast of Philadelphia Tuesday night.

The Associated Press and his family confirmed his death. Gains was a video software architect for the Associated Press and was returning from Washington after attending meetings there.

Jim Gaines, a 48-year-old father of two,  joined the Associated Press in 1998 and was a key factor in nearly all of the news agency’s video initiatives, including a service providing live video to hundreds of clients worldwide.

He won the AP’s “Geek of the Month” award in May 2012 for his “tireless dedication and contagious passion” to technological innovation. He was part of a team that won the AP Chairman’s Prize in 2006 for developing the agency’s Online Video Network.

He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, his 16-year-old son Oliver and 11-year-old daughter Anushka.

A U.S. Naval Academy midshipman from New York City is also among the dead.  Justin Zemser, 20, was on leave from the NAval Academy and was heading home to Rockaway Beach, New York via the train. He played sprint football, a form of the sport for players under 172 pounds, at the Naval Academy.

Rachel Jacobs, chief executive officer of ApprenNet, an education technology company in Philadelphia, was also confirmed dead by relatives Wednesday afternoon.

The names of the other victims have not been released yet. We will update this story as information becomes available.

The White House released a statement from President Obama on Wednesday offering his condolences to the families of those killed in the derailment.

“Along with Americans across our country, Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the derailment aboard Amtrak Train 188,” the president said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those we lost last night.”


  1. The US Naval Academy had issued a statement that out of respect for the family’s privacy, the identity of the midshipman is being withheld for 24 hours after next of kin notification. I was very saddened that you listed the midshipman’s name so quickly and did not give his family the same respect and privacy.

    1. Sorry Jeanette, but we were not aware of any request by the US Naval Academy. The name had already run on the AP newswire when we posted it. Thanks.

      1. The Naval Academy’s statement was made public. It was also released on Facebook, the same site where I read your article.

        1. Just because it was made public or was released on Facebook doesn’t mean we saw it before we posted our story. Also, it was a family member who identified him to the press. We do not post names until the next of kin have been notified.

  2. The tweet you posted with a link to this story has a bad URL. It includes an internal preview URL modifier that returns a “You do not have permission to preview drafts” error

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