Casey Skudin, a member of the well-known Long Beach Skudin surfing family, was killed Friday in North Carolina when a tree limb fell and crashed the car he was driving during a windstorm at a resort, according to North Carolina police. He had lived in Long Beach all of his life.
Skudin, a highly-decorated New York City firefighter stationed at Ladder 137 at the Beach 116th Street fire house in Rockaway Beach, was traveling with his family at the time of the accident. They were celebrating his 46th birthday.
His wife, Angela and two of his sons were in the car. Angela escaped unharmed, but police reported one of the sons was injured and hospitalized.
Angela Skudin owns Codfish Cowboy, a clothing and novelty store, in Long Beach.
Skudin joined the FDNY after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the World Trade Center. A friend had been killed in the towers, said James Mulvaney, of Long Beach, who is a friend of the Skudin family.
North Carolina police said the accident happened on the Biltmore Estate, a top tourist attraction in Asheville, North Carolina. Angela Skudin posted on Facebook that the family was celebrating both Father's Day and her husband's birthday.
According to the fire department, Skudin won multiple medals for rescues in the Rockaway waters and for helping out residents during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
"During a weather event involving high winds, a tree fell across a road on the estate entrance and struck a guest vehicle," a spokesperson for Biltmore said ijn a statement.
Angela Skudin said in her Facebook post that she and her older son, Ben, "made it out with only a few scratched," but that their youngest son, C.J., 10, was hospitalized "with mild injuries."
"Our family will be healing for eternity," Angela posted.
Casey Skudin is a cousin of well-known surfers Cliff and Will Skudin. The family owns Skudin Surf in Long Beach and another surf shop in Rockaway. It also owns a surfacing facility in New Jersey. The family also operates Surg For All, a non-profit that offers surfing lessons to children with challenges, such as autism.
Casey Skudin was also a surfer, Mulvaney said.
"He's one of the local folks everyone knows," he said. "He was a sweet guy, and very funny."