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A New York firefighter fell över 100 meters form a bridge in construction by stepping in between an unmarked gap between the lanes. Photo: FDNY
10 Jan 2019

New York firefighter dies in fall from a bridge trying to save car crash victims

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When ladder team 170 arrived at the scene of a car crash on the Belt Parkway Sunday night, the firefighters immediately ran toward the remains of an SUV on the opposite side of the bridge.

The accident occurred when they ran towards a set of barriers (called Jersey barriers). What they didn´t all realize was that the lanes on the bridge were separated by a 3-foot (one meter) gap.

30 year old firefighter Steven Pollard fell through the space dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes on the parkway’s overpass bridge.

He initially survive the 52 foot (about 16 meters) to the ground, but died a short time later at Kings County Hospital.

Tragically, Pollard may not even have known there was a gap, a fire source told The Post. In other words; the barrier that Pollard jumped over didn´t in itself indicate that there was any danger or gap in between the highway lanes.

“Usually, if it looks like a bad accident, you step over the Jersey barrier,” the source lamented.

“I guess on the bridge it wasn’t connected. We take all the precautions we can — and this guy gets killed stepping over a Jersey barrier.”

The FDNY would not comment on what specifically went wrong and is “still in the midst of a safety investigation,” according to department officials.


Procession in Ny York for fallen firefighter Steven Pollard. Photo: Robert Mecea.

The FDNY procession for fallen firefighter Steven Pollard. Photo: Robert Mecea

“To see this good young man there, to see him there with his family around him, it was extraordinarily painful and I felt so much for this family,” de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference Monday.

Officials are trying to determine what exactly went wrong:

“DOT is working closely with the FDNY to investigate the circumstances of this tragic incident,” a Department of Transportation spokesperson said. “We extend our deepest condolences to Firefighter Pollard’s family and colleagues.”

The bridge from which Pollard fell is still under construction. DOT wouldn’t say whether the gap will remain when the work is done.

The city plans to finish the new bridge and demolish the old one by the end of the year.