A 20-year-old Navy midshipman was among the victims of Tuesday’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

Justin Zemser was a sophomore at the Annapolis academy. He was traveling home to see his parents in Rockaway, N.Y., when he was killed in the tragic derailment. He was identified immediately because he was wearing his Navy uniform.

Zemser was a star athlete and president of his class at Channel View High School. He was a straight-A student at the Naval academy and was wide-receiver on the Navy’s sprint football team.


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His mother, Susan Zemser, called him “a loving son, nephew and cousin, who was very community-minded.”

“This tragedy has shocked us all in the worst way,” she said.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he was “deeply saddened” by the Navy midshipman’s death.


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“This is a painful day for that midshipman’s family, for the entire academy community, and for all those affected by this tragedy,” Carter said.