Tech CEO from Manhattan identified as one of 7 killed in Amtrak derailment

Posted at 9:18 AM, May 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-14 06:33:31-04
(Photo: ApprenNet)

(Photo: ApprenNet)

PHILADELPHIA (PIX11) — A CEO of a technology education company and mother of a toddler who lives in Manhattan is among the seven dead after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, sending all seven cars off the tracks.

Rachel Jacobs, chief executive of the tech company ApprenNet, died in the Tuesday night crash, according to family spokeswoman Risa Heller.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy. Rachel was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend,” the family said in a statement.

“She was devoted to her family, her community and the pursuit of social justice. We cannot imagine life without her. We respectfully ask for privacy so that we can begin the process of grieving.”

Jacobs lived on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and recently joined Philadelphia-based ApprenNet, according to the company’s website.

In the hours following the tragic derailment, Jacobs’ colleague — the co-founder of ApprenNet — reached out to media and the public to help find her friend. Jacobs hadn’t been heard from since the derailment, worrying her loved ones.

Jacobs was a wife and mother to a 2-year-old, said Emily Foote, COO and co-founder of ApprenNet. The 39-year-old hailed from Detroit and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School.

The Northeast Regional Train 188 she was on was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members from Washington to New York when all seven of its cars derailed, a U.S. Department of Transportation representative told CNN Wednesday. It crashed minutes after it left Philadelphia.

Amtrak set up a special number for those seeking information on friends and family aboard the train: 1-800-523-9101.