NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City firefighter who plunged to his death off a highway bridge while rushing to rescue a driver trapped in an overturned vehicle had bravery "in his blood," Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at his funeral Friday.
Thousands of firefighters in dress uniforms stood silently at attention along a street of red brick homes outside the funeral in for Steven Pollard, who was running toward a car accident late Sunday when he slipped into a gap between bridge spans and plunged about 50 feet (15 meters).
Mayor Bill De Blasio eulogized Pollard on behalf "of a grieving city."
"We know he believed in service to others," de Blasio told mourners at the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church in the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, where Pollard was raised. "On Sunday, what Steven Pollard saw was a fellow New Yorker, a fellow human being in a crumpled SUV; he did not hesitate, he saw someone in danger, someone who needed help, and he rushed forward and that instant, gave his life."
Pollard's coffin arrived atop a fire engine of Ladder Company 170 in the nearby Canarsie neighborhood, where he was assigned.
The 30-year-old had followed his father and brother into the Fire Department of New York just a year and a half ago.