Crash victim feels ‘guilty’ after FF died trying to save him
Travis Simms said he “immediately felt guilty” after learning Steven Pollard fell more than 50 feet to the ground while rushing to help him
By FireRescue1 Staff
NEW YORK — A crash victim, whom an FDNY firefighter was trying to save before falling to his death, spoke out about the tragic incident.
Travis Simms told New York Post that he “immediately felt guilty” when he learned that Steven Pollard had fallen through a 3-foot gap between a bridge while trying to save Simms, who had become trapped in his vehicle after hitting a slick patch in the road while he was on his way to work as a correction officer at Rikers Island.
“I just heard ‘Oh my God, oh my God. Firefighter fell, he fell through, he fell through,’” Simms said.
Simms said two firefighters stayed on the scene to help him, while others rushed to help Pollard.
“One of the firefighters said, ‘You know, this is not your fault, this is not your fault. One of our firefighters fell through the bridge,’” Simms said. “I just immediately felt guilty.”
He called Pollard his “hero” and expressed his condolences to his family.
“When I got to the hospital, that’s when I found out [Pollard died]. Immediately I couldn’t control my emotions,” Simms said.
Simms added that it wasn’t until he saw a photo of Pollard that he realized the two had worked together at JetBlue.
“When I saw the photo, I said, ‘This guy looks familiar,’ and it just made the situation worse,” he said.
Simms, who suffered only seven stitches and a bruised rib in the crash, said he plans to attend Pollard’s funeral.
“I have to tell to him, ‘Thank you,’ say my final goodbye,” he said. “Because at the end of the day, he made the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that I was alright.”