FDNY Firefighter Killed by Falling Tree in 'Freak Accident' While Driving with His Family on Vacation

“Our family will be healing for eternity," Casey Skudin's wife wrote in a tribute to the firefighter, who died on Friday

FDNY Firefighter Killed After Tree Fell on His Car During Storm
Casey Skudin and family. Photo: FDNY Foundation/Facebook

A beloved New York City firefighter was tragically killed by a falling tree just days before his 46th birthday, which coincided with Father's Day.

Casey Skudin, a 16-year veteran of the department and an FDNY Medal recipient, died on Friday, leaving behind a wife and two children, the FDNY Foundation wrote in a statement.

"Our entire family was involved in a freak accident in Asheville, NC where a tree fell on our SUV on day 2 of a family vacation," his wife Angela wrote in a heartbreaking social media post.

Angela shared that she and their oldest son "made it out with only a few scratches," while their youngest son was "hospitalized with mild injuries."

Speaking with CBS New York, Angela said that after she was able to escape the vehicle through a shattered window, she "immediately went over to Casey."

"His hands were blue, and I knew he gone," she told the outlet. "I just kissed both of his hands and just told him he was the best thing that ever happened to me."

The "tragic accident" took place "during a weather event" at the Biltmore Estate, Biltmore staff said in a statement.

"A portion of a tree fell on our entrance road during high winds, causing fatal injuries to one of our guests. We are deeply saddened by this devastating tragedy," they wrote. "Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and their loved ones, and we have offered our assistance."

Biltmore Estate spokesperson Marissa Jamison told the Citizen Times that an investigation is underway.

The decorated firefighter and father of two was mourned by his family members.

"You are so very loved and so missed," Angela wrote on social media. "Our family will be healing for eternity."

"My sweet bear I thank you for choosing me to be the love of your life..right now I'm not sure how but with the love of this community we will move forward," she added.

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Another heartfelt tribute was shared by Skudin Surf, a company that offers surfing lessons and classes, and is run by the late firefighter's family.

"You went to heaven too soon in this tragic unthinkable accident, leaving behind tears and pain for so many," read the tribute. "You were the Rock to your wife Angela and two sons Ben and CJ. Our hearts are broken just thinking of the journey ahead without you but please know Long Beach loves you."

"We will hold tight to memories of Casey for some type of comfort. We will always remember how much of a role model he was to family and friends," the message continued. "Casey you were loved by so many and forever will be in our hearts."

Skudin, who worked with Ladder 137 in the Rockaway area of Queens, was awarded the Fire Chiefs Association Memorial Medal in 2010 after helping save a surfer who was trapped under water during a storm, according to NBC New York.

A scholarship foundation has been set up by the FDNY in order to support his children.

"The FDNY and FDNY Foundation send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Firefighter Skudin," they wrote in a statement. "We will never forget his service and dedication to the FDNY and the City of New York."

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