ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A New York City firefighter was killed when a tree limb fell onto the vehicle he was driving at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, officials said.
The limb fell across a road Friday at the entrance to the estate amid high winds and struck a car carrying Casey Skudin.
Buncombe County emergency medical services and Asheville fire responded with the assistance of Biltmore teams. Three adults and one child were in the vehicle.
Asheville fire spokesperson Kelley Klope said Skudin died before firefighters arrived.
Skudin would have turned 46 on Sunday, FDNY spokesperson Jim Long said.
Skudin had 16 years of service and worked in the Rockaway area of Queens with Ladder 137, Long said. Skudin was married to Angela Skudin and had two children.
Skudin was also a rescue surfer and lifeguard and was awarded the Fire Chiefs Association Memorial Medal in 2010 for his bravery in diving into the frigid ocean during a 2009 storm to help rescue a surfer trapped underwater by his surfboard leash, Long said.
The 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate features tours of the country’s largest private residence, the Biltmore House, which was built in 1895 and attracts about 1.4 million people a year.