An off-duty North Charleston firefighter died late Thursday in a crash on Palmetto Commerce Parkway that also injured two other firefighters, authorities said.
Edward "E.J." Mascaro, 34, was killed when his vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer, according to a statement from Mayor Keith Summey's office. Mascaro was driving his personal vehicle, a Honda SUV.
"The North Charleston Fire Department responded to the incident and used rescue equipment to remove the vehicle that was partially pinned under the tractor trailer," the statement said. "After removing the vehicle and initiating patient care they recognized Mascaro as a member of the department."
Firefighters worked until all victims were extricated, the statement said. Mascaro was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of firefighter Mascaro who was a beloved member of our department," North Charleston Fire Chief Gregory Bulanow said in the statement. "I’m very proud of our crews who responded to this incident and continued working with the highest level of professionalism after recognizing that a victim was one of our own. We offer our deepest condolences to the Mascaro family.”
Mascaro was a Pennsylvania native and joined the department in August 2015 after serving as a Charleston firefighter, the statement said. He also served in the Army in Iraq.
S.C. Highway Patrol troopers said Mascaro's 2013 Honda SUV was going east on the parkway when a Freightliner tractor-trailer turned left from a private driveway.
The SUV hit the rear part of the truck's driver's side, Lance Cpl. David Jones said.
Mascaro's passengers were an off-duty Charleston firefighter and an off-duty Hanahan firefighter, said Hanahan Fire Chief Bo Bowers.
The Hanahan firefighter was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital, Bowers said.
The Charleston firefighter — an assistant engineer with the department — was transported to Medical University Hospital for surgery and remains hospitalized, said Chief Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh, a spokesman for that department.
"The (department) is working to support his family members with any needs that may arise," Julazadeh said. "The family would like to express their appreciation for all of the support from the fire service community. Peer counselors were activated this morning to provide support within our fire service community."
The three firefighters were roommates, Bowers said.
The man driving the truck was wearing a seat belt, Jones said. Troopers did not report that he was injured.
Troopers also did not say whether any charges would be filed in connection with the crash.
North Charleston police had closed the parkway between Patriot Boulevard and Ladson Road as the troopers investigated the crash.
Andrew Knapp contributed to this report.