Shock mixed with sadness and grief as news spread of the unexpected death of a young Bergen County first responder.
Christopher Kucan, 24, of Wood-Ridge, worked as a tunnel and bridge agent with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the Lincoln Tunnel. He was also an EMT with the Moonachie First Aid and Rescue Squad.
"We are all at a complete loss for words," a Port Authority co-worker and fellow member of the fire service said.
Those in both aspects of Kucan's life called him still young with great potential, one who had a heart of gold and "would drop everything to help a friend," he said. "This is an absolutely tragic loss."
"We are all heartbroken and devastated," added Franklin Smith, a fellow firefighter and captain of Moonachie First Aid and Rescue Squad.
Gilbert Ruiz, the Kucan family's next-door neighbor of the past 21 years, established a GoFundMe campaign to help them meet funeral and other expenses.
They are "suffering from unbearable pain and loss," Ruiz said Tuesday morning. "I didn't know what else to do."
Chris, he said, was "good man and friend to many."
"Chris, may you watch down on us from the heavens above," the Moonachie Fire Department wrote in announcing his death with "a heavy heart" late Monday. "Rest in eternal peace."
A wake was being planned for Thursday at Kimak Funeral Home. Specific arrangements to be announced.
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