NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – As we head into the new year, The New Rochelle Daily Voice will count down, in no particular order, the top 10 stories of 2012.
New Rochelle bid farewell to 30-year-old firefighter Keith Morris in July following a tragic boating accident in Stamford, Conn.
Morris was killed July 23 when the boat he was piloting smashed into a breakwall and flipped. Four other passengers in the boat survived the accident.
Authorities in Connecticut said toxicology reports showed Morris was above the legal limit for alcohol.
Morris, the son Stephen and Linda Morris, owners of Spectator’s Bar Sports Pub on North Avenue, had been a firefighter in New Rochelle with Ladder Co. 12 at Fire Station 2 on Webster Avenue as well as a bartender at Spectator’s.
Firefighters from New Rochelle, White Plains, Port Chester, Yonkers, New York City and Stamford, Conn., stood in a row outside of Holy Name to honor their fallen comrade. Hundreds more gathered in the church as far back as the lobby to get one last glimpse of a young man who lost his life too early.
Morris’s cousin Vin Parise said during the eulogy that Morris was always good for a quick-witted response and comical reaction, and would literally give the shirt off his back for someone in need.
“Spectator’s will never be the same,” Parise said.
Byron Gray, president of Uniformed Fire Fighters Association Local 273, said Morris was very active in the fire department and in the community, adding that his death is a tragedy for both.
“He will be greatly missed,” Gray said. “The turnout shows how much he was loved. We want to give him the best sendoff we can.”