A Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter was among the five people killed in a helicopter crash in New York City's East River Sunday night, the fire department confirmed.
Dallas Fire-Rescue officials say Brian McDaniel was on vacation in NY when the helicopter went down on Sunday.
The NYPD on Monday identified the four other people who were killed in the crash as 34-year-old Daniel Thompson of NY, 29-year-old Tristan Hill of NY, 26-year-old Trevor Cadigan of Dallas, and 29-year-old Carla Vallejos Blanco from Argentina.
"Hearts are heavy with grief as we not only try to come to grips with his loss departmentally; but to also be there in every way that we can for his family", Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said in a statement. According to multiple sources, a Eurocopter AS350, went down in the East River, near Roosevelt Island in NY, at approximately 7:00 p.m. EST, while carrying a group of five people for a private photoshoot. For the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, McDaniel had been a fire rescue officer for almost to years, also working for Fire Station 36. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends".
They say he was not married, nor had children, but is survived by his father who lives in Dallas, and his mother and older brother who live in the Denver metro area. The family asks for privacy during this trying time. The other victims were identified as video journalist Trevor Cadigan, tourist Carla Vallejos Blanco and helicopter employees Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson, according to New York Daily News. Two were a Dallas firefighter and his friend.
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Andrew Vidales, McDaniel's cycling coach at Bishop Lynch, said McDaniel "always had a smile on his face, very talkative and very optimistic". "So it was truly a joyful moment".
Two of the five passengers who died are Texas natives.
Cadigan recently moved from Dallas to NY, taking a job as a video journalist, living his dream.
The pilot and sole survivor, Richard Vance, could be heard saying "Mayday, mayday, mayday" during the crash on Sunday during an emergency radio transmission; the person at the other end of the transmission reportedly could not make out what the pilot was saying.