NEW YORK (Gray News) - As he and his colleagues were going to help the victims of a two-car accident, a probationary firefighter slipped through a gap in the elevated roadway and fell 52 feet to his death.
Officials with the New York City Fire Department identified 30-year-old Steven Pollard, who had served for less than two years, as the deceased firefighter early Monday morning in a Facebook post.
Pollard’s company had been called to the scene of a two-car accident with injuries Sunday at 10 p.m., according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“As they were going to help the victims at that accident, Firefighter Pollard slipped through a gap in that roadway and fell to the ground approximately 52 feet below,” Nigro said.
Pollard was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“It's a terrible loss for the department. To lose a member just at the beginning of his career like this is devastating to us,” Nigro said.
The roadway where the accident happened was an elevated section of the Belt Parkway, where WABC reports there is a roughly 3-foot gap between the east and westbound lanes.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went to the hospital after the accident.
“What makes this even more painful is this is a family that has served our city for decades…This is a family that has done so much for New York City, and now, they’re going through this loss and this pain, and it’s a very, very tough situation,” he said at a news conference.
Pollard’s father is a retired firefighter, who served for 31 years, and his brother is an active firefighter, who has served for 11 years, according to WABC.
Investigators are due to return to the scene of the accident in an effort to better understand what happened to Pollard.