‘He was a love of a lifetime’: Firefighter killed when tree falls on car
NEW YORK (News 12 Long Island) – What began as a fun vacation to North Carolina to celebrate Father’s Day ended in tragedy when a highly-decorated New York firefighter was killed in an accident.
A couple of hours after Casey Skudin snapped a selfie on a hiking trail in Asheville, he was killed when a tree fell during a windstorm and crushed the SUV he was in.
It occurred Friday on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate.
The veteran FDNY firefighter was on the driveway of the tourist attraction with his wife, Angela, and two sons when the tree fell.
“It landed right on the car, right on Casey,” Angela Skudin said.
Angela Skudin escaped the wreckage through a window.
“Got over to him and just his hands were blue and I held them and I kissed him and just told him the truth, that he was the best husband and best father and that it was okay for him to let go,” she said.
Their 19-year-old son, Ben, escaped serious injury, but their 10-year-old son, CJ, suffered a partially collapsed lung and spinal fractures.
The family was on a vacation to celebrate Father’s Day and Casey Skudin’s birthday. He would have been 46.
“I just slid his wedding ring off of his finger and put it on mine, and that was it,” Angela Skudin said.
Cliff Skudin, Casey Skudin’s cousin, said getting the news was heartbreaking.
“There’s no words to describe the pain the family is going through,” he said.
Casey Skudin is from a well-known surfing family that runs surf camps in Long Beach, the Rockaways and New Jersey.
His uncle and cousin said Casey Skudin was an excellent lifeguard, an avid triathlon athlete and a great family man.
“He touched everybody and he was really fun, and you know, he led by example,” his uncle, John Skudin said.
A flag outside Ladder 137, where Casey Skudin served for 16 years, was flown at half staff. Fellow firefighter Joseph Durkin said Skudin was not only one of the bravest but also one of the kindest.
“He was a great guy, great fireman, loved his family, loved his job, loved his firehouse,” Durkin he was a guy you could always count on.”
Angela Skudin said she and her family will be healing for a long time.
“He was a love of a lifetime and I’m so happy for the 20 years that we spent together and I’m forever grateful for the family that he left me,” she said.
Casey Skudin received several FDNY medals for his work in water rescues and helping people out during a superstorm. His family said a memorial for him is being planned for next week.
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