Dallas firefighter killed in New York helicopter crash has family in Colorado

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DENVER -- A Dallas firefighter who was killed in a helicopter plane crash has family in Denver.

Brian McDaniel, 26, was one of five people who died in a helicopter crash in New York’s East River on Sunday night.

McDaniel's mother and older brother live in Colorado, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue where McDaniel was a firefighter.

According to McDaniel's family, McDaniel loved to ski.

His family in Edgewater just bought him new skis for futures ski trips in Colorado. They said he visited his family in Colorado a couple weeks ago for a trip to Copper Mountain.

McDaniel was a two-year member of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department and grew up in Texas. He was not married.

"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," the fire department said in a statement on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Fire Rescue Officer, Brian McDaniel June 12, 1991 – March 11, 2018 Hired: May 2016 Assigned to Fire Station 36, C-Shift Monday, March 12, 2018, Dallas Fire-Rescue received confirmation that one of its own, Fire-Rescue Officer, Brian McDaniel, tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash while on vacation in New York. According to multiple sources, a Eurocopter AS350, went down in the East River, near Roosevelt Island in New York, at approximately 7:00 p.m. EST, while carrying a group of five people for a private photoshoot. Among those five people was Officer McDaniel. Officer McDaniel, 26, was an almost two-year member of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, and was assigned to Fire Station 36, on the C-shift. Officer McDaniel was single, and had no children, but was immediately survived by his Father, of Dallas; and his Mother and older Brother, of Denver, CO. 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. The family asks for privacy during this trying time.

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McDaniel was in New York visiting his friend Trevor Cadigan, who was also killed in the crash. The two went to Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas and had been best friends ever since, KDFW reports.

“He became a firefighter. He was actually studying to be a paramedic with the Dallas Fire Department,” Andrew Vidales, McDaniel's cycling coach in high school, told KDFW. “So it was truly a joyful moment."

McDaniel and the victims were on board a Liberty Helicopters aircraft that had been chartered for a private photo shoot, authorities said.

The helicopter crash landed in the East River, flipped upside down and then submerged into the cold water, authorities said.

When emergency workers reached the helicopter, the passengers were tightly harnessed and had to be cut out, Fire Department of New York Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The pilot was able to free himself and was the only survivor.

The cause of the crash has not been determined.

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