A New York City firefighter fell to his death late Sunday when he slipped through a narrow gap between lanes of a newly built bridge while trying to reach the victims of a car crash.
Steven Pollard, a 30-year-old firefighter who had followed his father and brother into the FDNY just a year and a half ago, fell 52 feet as he tried to climb between a pair of low concrete barriers separating travel on Brooklyn's Belt Parkway.
Firefighters lined up outside Kings County Hospital early Monday and stood at attention as Pollard's body was taken away.
“He was a great young man. He always came to work happy and always had a smile on his face. He was a great leader,” said FDNY Lt. Philip Miller, Ladder 170.
Pollard, a member of Brooklyn's Ladder Company 170, had still been on probation with the department. His father, Ray Pollard, is a retired member of Ladder Company 102 in Brooklyn. His brother Ray Pollard Jr. is an active member of Ladder Company 114.
"This is a family who has done so much for New York City and now they're going through this loss and this pain," de Blasio said. "It's a very, very tough situation."
The accident happened on the Mill Basin Bridge, which crosses over a channel at the edge of Jamaica Bay. The drivers of the two cars involved in the initial crash only suffered minor injuries, police said.
Pollard is the 1,151st member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.