CANARSIE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Firefighters lined up outside the New York City Medical Examiner's Office Sunday night to salute their brother in arms after he died while responding to a crash on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.
The body of firefighter Steven Pollard arrived around 10 p.m., after he was killed in the line of duty. Mayor Bill de Blasio said what makes the loss even more painful is that Pollard comes from a family that has served the city for decades.
The 30-year-old had been on the job for a year and a half and was still a probationary firefighter when he fell to his death Sunday night. Officials said he crossed the Jersey barrier not knowing there was a roughly 3-foot gap between the east and westbound lanes.
He was following in the steps of his father, retired fireman Ray Pollard, who served 31 years with the department, and his brother Ray Pollard, Jr. who has been with the department 11 years and works at another station in Brooklyn.
Pollard is also survived by his mother.
Mayor de Blasio and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro spoke Monday morning, after meeting with Pollard's family, saying they are devastated.
"This is a family that 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 fell more than 50 feet onto hard sand and was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.
"I'd ask the prayers of everyone in this city, for the Pollard family, for the retired firefighter Ray Pollard, for his brother Ray Jr., and for their mom and the rest of their extended family, for their terrible loss," Nigro said.
This is the second FDNY in-the-line-of-duty death within a year. Lieutenant Michael Davidsondied in a fire in March 2018.