City flags were ordered to half-mast on Thursday after the death of Sanitation Enforcement Sergeant Frank Musella.
According to the Department of Sanitation, the nine-year veteran was on duty on Staten Island on Wednesday when he “mentioned” the heat — which climbed as high as 96 degrees — to a colleague. Musella, 37, then went to his car, according to the NYDS, and was found unresponsive shortly thereafter. He was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital South. The department says it does not yet know the cause of death, or whether the incident was related to the heat, according to spokeswoman Belinda Mager.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office released a statement Wednesday night offering its condolences. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of New York’s Strongest,” the office said in a press release, “who died while in service of our city. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Musella’s family….New York City stands ready to support them all in this tragic time of need.”
Musella leaves behind a wife, Alessandra, and two sons: Frank Jr., eight, and Anthony, four.
Alessandra Musella has posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook that reads, in part:
How will life ever be happy again! 17years together and never have we been apart for more then a Day! How do I tell thr boys Daddy won’t be home, EVER…He won’t be here to pull teeth, give piggy back rides, clean boo boos, hug you, play nerf with you! He lived to make US happy! No matter what it took!
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) July 30, 2015