Man in crash talks about firefighter's fatal fall in Brooklyn

MILL BASIN, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Travis Simms, a city corrections officer, was the man FDNY Firefighter Steven Pollard was rescuing before he fell to his death Sunday, and now Simms is speaking out.

Simms was trapped in his SUV after a rollover on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, and Pollard and his fellow firefighters responded to the scene of the crash.

"He risked his life in order to save mine," Simms said.

As the rescuers jumped the center median to come to his aid, 30-year-old Pollard lost his footing, slipped through the void in the bridge and tumbled to his death.

RELATED: Investigation underway after firefighter falls through gap on roadway in Brooklyn

He had just emerged from probation after a year on the job and at the Canarsie firehouse, colleagues remembered a man destined for greatness.

"He was a good firefighter," said Captain Jimmy Quinn of FDNY Ladder 170. "He was on his way to being a great firefighter. He was gonna be an anchor in the firehouse."

Pollard and Simms were not strangers. Before one became a firefighter and the other a corrections officer, both worked together on the tarmac at Kennedy Airport for JetBlue Airways. Simms recognized Pollard from his picture after the accident and realized he knew him.

"He's definitely my hero, you know, definitely have to say a final goodbye," Simms said. "Hopefully I can say something to the family. And may he rest in peace."

He plans to attend the funeral so he can thank the Pollard family and the entire FDNY.

WATCH: FDNY procession honors firefighter Steven Pollard


Pollard comes from a family of firefighters. His father, Ray Sr., served 31 years in Brooklyn. His brother, Ray Jr., served 11 years in Brooklyn.

"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."

Pollard is the 1,151st member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.

Uniformed Firefighters Association President Gerard Fitzgerald issued the following statement:

"In his short amount of time on the job, Steven Pollard made a massive impact in the Brooklyn community and was very well liked by his officers and fellow firefighters for his excellent work. Steven came from a line of firefighters who -- time and time again -- put their lives on the line to protect all New Yorkers, and on behalf of all UFA members, we want to extend our deepest sympathies to Steven's family, friends, and his fellow firefighters at Engine 257, Ladder 170 and Battalion 58. Steven truly epitomized what it means to be one of 'New York's Bravest,' and will be dearly missed."

Funeral and Wake Arrangements

A wake will be held at Marine Park Funeral Home on Wednesday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursday, from 2: 00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

His funeral will be held on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd R.C. Church at 1950 Batchelder Street in Brooklyn, New York.

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