NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS2 has learned what led to the accident that killed a firefighter in Queens.

Veteran FDNY firefighter William Tolley fell five stories to his death while fighting a fire in April of 2017.

A department investigation has now revealed there was an issue with the steering mechanism on the fire truck bucket Tolley was riding in.

Investigators believe Tolley may have removed his safety harness to check the bucket on his way up to the roof of a burning building on Putnam Ave. in Ridgewood.

Witnesses told CBS2 that the first responder was attempting to get into the basket when it shook, and the firefighter fell to his death.

The 42-year-old Tolley — of Ladder 135, Engine 286 — was a 14-year veteran of the FDNY. He was also a husband and the father of an eight-year-old girl.


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