YUBA CITY – A U.S. Forest Service firefighter from Yuba City died in Texas on Wednesday.
Daniel Laird was helping with a controlled burn in the Sam Houston National Forest when the helicopter he was in crashed.
“It was just unbelievable, just unexpected. I mean, in his profession, that’s something that you worry about not something that you expect to happen,” said Tony Osejo.
Laird was a dad, a husband, and to Osejo, he was a friend, the type that can never be replaced.
“He was so many different things," Osejo said. "Definitely funny, he had a great demeanor.”
There were three people on board at the time, Laird was the only one who didn’t survive.
Osejo says he is best friends with Laird’s wife, Heather, adding Laird and his wife became close all the way back in the eighth grade; it was a fairytale romance Osejo says.
“I’m going to miss the partnership he had with Heather, everyone was envious of it, they just had a great relationship, they were truly in love,” he said.
Osejo says the hardest part of the tragedy is that Laird’s daughter will never know how truly special her father was.
Osejo says he would only express gratitude if he was given the chance to talk to his friend Laird one last time.
“Thank you, thank you for the life he gave Heather, I would thank him for just being Daniel,” Osejo said.
As for the crash that took Laird’s life, officials say there is no cause for the helicopter crash at the moment, but the investigation is ongoing.
Osejo has started a GoFundMe for Laird’s family, please click the link if you’d like to view the page.