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Thread: Cliffside Park, NJ Firefighter Killed in Crash with Bus

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Cliffside Park, NJ Firefighter Killed in Crash with Bus

    Cliffside Park, NJ Firefighter Killed in Crash with Bus

    The Bergen Record

    CLIFFSIDE PARK -- A borough volunteer firefighter on his way to an emergency call was killed Sunday in a head-on crash with a New Jersey Transit bus.

    Daniel King, 21, of North Bergen, was driving to the Fire Department in his personal car about 1 p.m. to respond to a report of a smoke alarm going off at 216 Palisade Ave., said Bergen County Assistant Prosecutor John Higgins.

    But there was no fire. Water from a leaky roof caused the alarm to malfunction.

    King was traveling north on Palisade Avenue in his Montero sport utility vehicle when another vehicle emerged from Park Avenue to his right and he veered into the southbound lanes, striking the bus, Higgins said.

    King was not displaying the blue light that designates a firefighter's vehicle responding to a call, Higgins said. But King was sounding his horn and blinking his high beams.

    King was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:49 p.m.

    "He was a young guy and a very dedicated volunteer firefighter," said Cliffside Park Mayor Gerald A. Calabrese.

    The driver of the bus, Kumar C. Mahabir, 45, of Jersey City, suffered minor injuries, as did three of the four passengers on the bus. They were taken to Palisades Medical Center, where they were treated and released, a nursing supervisor said.

    Michael Klufas, a spokesman for New Jersey Transit, did not know the names of the passengers. He said they were riding on a No. 156 bus, which travels from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Fort Lee and Englewood Cliffs.

    No citations were issued.

    Fire Chief Frank Poerio said King died in the line of duty and will receive a funeral with full honors. The Fire Department will handle all arrangements, with a piece of firefighting equipment carrying the casket and a full procession to the cemetery.

    King was single with no children. Although he resided in North Bergen now, he lived in Cliffside Park at one time. His mother, stepfather, and sister live in West New York. He had been a volunteer with the Fire Department for four years.

    "Everyone is very upset, in shock," Poerio said. "He was a good firefighter, an excellent firefighter."

    Cliffside Park has three paid firefighters, and 97 percent of its force of 87 is made up of volunteers. King's death is the first in recent years for the department, Poerio said.

    Two Cliffside Park firefighters were killed in 1973, and five Ridgefield firefighters were killed in the 1960s while fighting a fire in a Cliffside Park bowling alley.

    "It is a moment in this borough that is very, very sad. Our town is hurting," said Cliffside Park Councilman Frank Biasco, speaking of King's death.

    "There is not much you can really say about it," Biasco said. "It was absolutely devastating. He was a very likable boy, a good firefighter. It hurts deeply."

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    King, Daniel I.

    Age: 21
    Rank: Firefighter
    Status: Volunteer
    Incident Date: 11/26/2000
    Incident Time: 12:45
    Death Date: 11/26/2000

    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Responding/Returning from Alarm
    Activity Type: Driving/Riding Personal Vehicle
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Cliffside Park Fire Department
    525 Palisade Ave.
    Cliffside Park, New Jersey 07010
    Chief: Frank Poerio, Sr.

    Final Summary:
    Firefighter King was responding to an automatic fire alarm in his personal vehicle. He was not displaying emergency or courtesy lights, but he was flashing his headlights and honking his horn. As he responded, a vehicle emerged from a side street on his right. Firefighter King swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid the collision, his vehicle began to fishtail, and he hit a transit bus head-on. Firefighters responded to the scene and extricated Firefighter King from his vehicle. Firefighter King was wearing a seat belt but the force of the crash was too great. He died later that day. The cause of death was listed as internal trauma.

  3. #3
    Responding to an emergency in a civilian vehicle does not give the driver the right to drive in a manner that differs from normal driving. Honking, flashing lights, swerving, going through red lights without an escort, and speeding are all against the rules in New Jersey. Even if it is a critical issue, an emergency responder in a civilian vehicle, even with blue lights, must adhere to the rules of the road at all times.

  4. #4
    All I can say is how dare you? Daniel gave his life to respond to call for help. If it was you in danger or your only possessions in your home at stake, I'm sure you'd want someone to respond as soon as possible. Daniel gave years of his life and HIS LIFE to the service of his town for anyone to come now and speak like that. He did what anyone else would have done in his seat. He was emergency personnel!! He used his heart and put the person asking for help before his own life and lost his life trying to help a fellow human being. Try showing a little bit of gratitude and respect before you criticize Daniel or anyone in the emergency field on what they should or shouldn't do. I'm a relative of Daniel's. You should have a little bit more heart also. How do you think I felt reading something like that about someone I love so much? He was our world and we lost him because he was a good soul. I hope you never feel the pain we do and I hope that you can learn to have a bit more compassion for those who put their lives at risk for YOU and YOURS!!!

  5. #5
    i agree with the family member... that was out of line...

  6. #6
    Regardless of how everything happend Daniel in gone, we all still miss and remember. -- a close friend of the family---

  7. #7
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    Apr 2007
    Daniel was one of the most loving people I had ever met. I can honestly say he was my first true love. I was a bit younger than him but he loved me for who I was. I still have the letters he wrote to me... he was so sweet. everytime we would see each other, he would give me a letter and tell me not to open it until I got home. Whenever we were together, it was always laughing and smiling. I had never been so happy in my life. I still remember the day I got the news... I called Danny's house and Seth answered. You could hear the pain in his voice. He told me what happened... my heart was in my stomach. My condolences go out to Daniel's friends and family. Even though I only met Seth, I still feel like I was once a part of his family. How dare anyone criticize him for risking his life to save another. Anyone who stoops that low should go to hell. Daniel was a brother, a son, a nephew, a friend,a boyfriend. Have some consideration and sympathy for those who lost him... I love you Danny and I'll never forget you

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