FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A traumatic day for Fresno firefighters struggling with the loss of one of their captains. Daniel Lopez-Galvan, 38, died Thursday morning during an off-duty accident.
Lopez-Galvan was supposed to report for duty at Station Three Thursday morning. It was around 7:30 a.m. when he didn't show up, that's when his crew found out something had gone horribly gone.
Fresno firefighters stood quietly along E Street Thursday after watching their fallen brother pass by Station Three-- one last time. "When you lose a member of your family, it's very emotionally trying," said Fire Chief Kerri Donis, Fresno Fire.
Captain Lopez-Galvan was a 15 year veteran known for his infectious smile and hard work ethic. Chief Donis said he was at work moving some dirt behind his house in Madera County when tragedy struck. "It's going to be tough. You spend a third of your life with these folks," said Chief Donis.
Chief Donis said Lopez-Galvan was scheduled to work Thursday morning. When he didn't come back inside the house his wife went outside to search. That's when she found him next to a skip loader. "It was a pretty traumatic injury. So we are hoping it was instant."
Firefighters gathered on bridges overlooking Highway 99. Watching over him as a procession brought his body to a Fresno funeral home. "The sad truth is that Fresno has had its fair share within the last year, just when you recover and get over the last one here comes the next one," said Carlton Jones, union president.
His passing leaves a void at the busiest station. "Dan was an awesome, amazing, very young man to be a leader in the role that he worked. That's reflected on how guys are stepping up to work for him or just cover for him and his family," said Jones.
His calls may be covered-- his presence, irreplaceable.
Firefighters said a funeral date hasn't been set yet, but they will have someone standing watch at all times until he is laid to rest.