A Dallas firefighter and a New York journalist with ties to North Texas died Sunday night when a helicopter in which they were taking a tour of the city crashed into the East River. A tourist from Argentina and two employees of Liberty Helicopters, the company running the tour, also died. The pilot of the helicopter survived but remains in the hospital with serious injuries, the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday afternoon.
Fire Rescue Officer Brian McDaniel, 26, joined the Dallas Fire Department in 2016. He worked at Fire Station 36 near Pinkston High School in West Dallas for almost two years and was in New York on vacation. McDaniel was single and didn't have any kids, according to the fire department.
"Despite his short tenure, 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 Department spokesman Jason Evans said Monday.
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McDaniel was visiting Trevor Cadigan, a former Bishop Lynch High School classmate, in New York. Cadigan moved to the city in 2017, taking a video journalism job with Business Insider after finishing his journalism degree at Southern Methodist University and an internship with WFAA-TV.
"The entire WFAA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of Trevor Cadigan. We would like to thank the many friends and former employees of WFAA who have reached out to offer your condolences and support," said Brad Ramsey, WFAA's president and general manager. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Trevor’s family and friends, and with the families of all of the victims of yesterday’s tragic accident."
The NTSB is still investigating the cause of the crash, but the pilot, Richard Vance, told investigators that one of his passengers' luggage might have hit the helicopter's emergency fuel shutoff switch, according to CNN.