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Westchester Is No Stranger To Large-Scale Tragedies

A fire at this Mount Vernon house resulted in four fatalities in October 2013.
A fire at this Mount Vernon house resulted in four fatalities in October 2013. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Seven of the eight people who died in a 2009 wrong-way car accident on the Taconic Parkway, one of the deadliest tragedies in Westchester.
Seven of the eight people who died in a 2009 wrong-way car accident on the Taconic Parkway, one of the deadliest tragedies in Westchester. Photo Credit: File photo

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- The train crash that killed at least seven people in Valhalla Tuesday night is the not the first large-scale tragedy to befall the county.

In July 2009, 36-year-old Diane Schuler was driving the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway when she collided with a minivan in Mount Pleasant near Briarcliff. Schuler, her daughter and three nieces were killed in the accident, along with the three people in the minivan, who were from Yonkers and headed to a cookout in Yorktown. Schuler's son was the only person to survive the crash.

In Oct. 2013, a family of four was killed in a Mount Vernon house fire . Raymundo Urena, who was 17 at the time, lost his parents, brother and sister. The home caught fire after a car caught fire near the residence.

In December 1980, a fire at the Stouffer's Inn in Harrison killed 26 people. The hotel did not have sufficient sprinklers and had flammable carpeting and wall covers. Today, the hotel is the Renaissance Westchester Hotel. The families of the victims settled for $48.5 million.

In 1934, 20 people died in a bus crash in Ossining, on their way to Sing Sing prison. The bus plunged down a 25 foot embankment and many of the victims were burned alive.

Three people in Westchester were killed during Superstorm Sandy including two boys in North Salem when a tree struck a family home.

Westchester lost 109 people in the Sept. 11 attacks, memoralized at The Rising in Kensico Dam Park in Valhalla. Seven people with ties to Westchester died after Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Scotland in 1988.

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