AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The community showed an outpouring of support for a firefighter who lost his life in a tragic accident.
Aurora firefighter Jason Murphy died Friday morning near the Quincy Reservoir. He was riding his bike to work when he was hit by a car. The loss of the so-called “gentle giant” has the Aurora Fire Department reeling.
“He was one of the most loved firefighters here,” father Harold Murphy said.
At 6-foot-7, Murphy was hard to miss, but those who knew him said it was what’s on the inside that stood out.
“He was a super guy; well-rounded, smart, strong, intelligent,” Harold Murphy said. “If you look at his life, he had the perfect life.”
It was a life celebrated and mourned Sunday by a packed room of family, friends and colleagues at the Dry Dock Brewing Company in Aurora.
Jason Murphy was a 9-year veteran of the department. Colleagues said by all accounts he loved his job, but he really loved his family.
“He would do anything in the world for you. He would do anything in the world for his kids,” Randy Rester with the Aurora Firefighters Protective Association said. “He was first in line to do something and last one to leave if they needed cleanup.”
The driver who hit Jason Murphy, William Nale, 49, of Aurora, told police he was battling the morning sun and was unable to see him or the traffic light. The crew that responded to the accident was Jason Murphy’s.
“It’s not supposed to happen to us; it’s not supposed to happen to one of your own,” Rester said.
But even through grief those who loved him say they are nothing but proud.
“There are still really, really good people in this world who help and care and are selfless and good fathers and husbands and good sons,” sister-in-law Kathryn Peters said. “It just restores your faith.”
Jason Murphy’s colleagues raised more than $7,000. The money will go to his wife and two daughters for whatever they decide they need.
Statement from the Aurora Police Department
This morning at 7:32am, Aurora Firefighter Jason Murphy was involved in an auto pedestrian accident. Firefighter Murphy was riding his bicycle en-route to work when he was struck by a vehicle. Aurora Fire crews responded, treated Jason and transported him to a local hospital with serious injuries. While being treated in the Emergency Department, Firefighter Murphy passed away. The circumstances surrounding the accident are under investigation by the Aurora Police Department. This is a devastating loss to Jason’s family and the Aurora Fire Department. Firefighter Murphy has been a member of the Aurora Fire Department since February, 2003 and held the rank of Engineer. Our thoughts, our hearts, and our prayers go out to Jason’s family. The Aurora Fire Department is grieving the loss of a colleague and a great friend.