CRIME
12/25/2013 10:04 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Volunteer Firefighter Unknowingly Pulls Dying Daughter From Wreckage On Christmas Eve

A volunteer firefighter attempted to save a woman in a serious car accident on Christmas Eve -- and found that not only was she dying, but that she was his daughter.

Steve Whitcomb responded to the scene in Brookline, N.H., where the lone victim, his daughter Katie Hamilton, was eventually pronounced dead, according to CNN. An SUV reportedly rear-ended her and pushed her into oncoming traffic, where another car hit her head on, police said.

As he pulled his 30-year-old daughter out of the smashed vehicle, he didn't initially recognize her, police chief Bill Quigley told The Union Leader.

The other two drivers weren't injured and nobody was charged. Quigley said that speed and impairment weren't factors in the crash, but "distracted driving" may have been.

Hamilton doesn't just leave behind her dad.

"I know that she is a young mother," Quigley said. "It's a sad, sad day for all of us, not just because it's Christmas Eve."

Brookline is a small town of 4,000 residents, and everyone holds Hamilton and Whitcomb in high regard. The Nashua Telegraph reports that the two worked together as plumbers and were close.

"You grieve and then you try to put it all back together," Whitcomb told the paper.

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