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Since news of Ms. Doolittle’s death broke, the office has been inundated with e-mails from friends, co-workers and former employees commemorating her life and her accomplishments. “She would come on almost a daily basis and ask, ‘What can I do today?’ ” Ms. Floyd said, adding that she was always joyful and caring about others.

Ana Fernandez, 40, of Hyattsville, was also killed in the accident. Ms. Fernandez had raised six children and worked as a housekeeper, according to news reports.

Cameron Williams, 37, also was killed in the accident.

Veronica DuBose, 29, of Northwest, was a single mother raising two children. Her daughter, Ava, was just 18 months. Ms. DuBose, a certified nursing assistant who worked on contract, was headed back to school to study phlebotomy. She wanted to work more stable hours and be home for her daughter and 8-year-old son, Raja.

On Father’s Day, she insisted the family have barbecue. Her stepmother said the chicken is probably still in her refrigerator.

Her family described her as independent and funny. Lindsey DuBose, 20, said, “Everybody who came in contact with her and showed her love, she would show love back.”

Jeanice McMillan, 42, who lived in Springfield, was the operator of the train that crashed into the back of a stationary train. She was a single mother who had proudly raised a son on her own and sent him to college, friends and colleagues recalled.

“She’d stay overnight just to put him through school,” said Carol Williams, a fellow Metro train operator.

Earl Beatty, who was her union shop steward, met Ms. McMillan when she started with Metro two years ago. “She said she wanted a career, not a job,” he said.

Her 25-year-old neighbor, Alisha Anderson, said Ms. McMillan spent her time working, studying for her job at Metro and taking care of her son, but she still had time to treat Ms. Anderson’s children as nephews.

“Every time the kids were in the hallway, she would pop her head out and say, ‘What you all doing? You want some fish?’ And the fish were those gummy candies. And I’d say, ‘Jeanice, don’t give ‘em candy.’ And she’d say, ‘Come on, Alisha, they can have some candy.’ ”

Ms. Joanne Harrison, a neighbor who lived across the hall, said her job meant the world to her.

“She was so proud of Metro. I hope Metro is proud of her,” she said.

Ms. Harrison, 47, was stunned by Ms. McMillan’s death.

“She would have stopped [the train] if she could,” she said. “Something went wrong. It wasn’t the operator’s fault. She cared about Metro so much. She wouldn’t have done anything to risk her job or life. She loved life and she loved her passengers.”