ERIE, Pa. — Firefighters saluted the body of Erie firefighter Steven McKenrick as it made its way from Pittsburgh.
The hearse was escorted to Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory on West 38th Street with the help of State Police, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and City of Erie Police.
The 44-year-old, a father of two and 14-year veteran of the Erie Fire Dept., died Thursday after a March 21 car accident in Frostproof, Florida, approximately 60 miles south of Orlando.
McKenrick’s mother and the driver and the motorist that struck them head-on also died in the crash. McKenrick’s sister was injured.
Colleagues wanted to bring home the fallen firefighter with honor.
“We were actually able to get out on the tarmac at Pittsburgh Airport and meet the plane,” said City of Erie Fire Lt. Darren Hart. “Give Steve an honor guard as he came off of the plane, and then we escorted him home.”
As McKenrick was brought back to Erie, communities near Interstate 79 showed their support.
“It means a lot, I know, to Steve’s family and to us. It shows that the fire department, whether you’re paid or volunteers, is one big family and when a tragedy like this happens, everyone comes together, sticks together,” said City of Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone.
Those who knew him are sticking together and reflecting on memories.
“If you wanted to be a firefighter, he’s the guy you aspire to be. He was as well-rounded a firefighter as you could ask for,” said Hart.
Bayfront Convention Center
Thurs., March 30, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
St. Jude the Apostle Church
Fri., March 31 at 11 a.m.