A retired East Meadow firefighter was killed early Wednesday morning in a single car accident.
Pasquale Aiello, 81, was on his way to the East Meadow Fire Department at the time of the 4:57 a.m. accident. According to Newsday, Aiello was a fixture at the station for more than 30 years.
Aiello, a retiree who did maintenance work at the East Meadow, New York, firehouse, was traveling west on the Northern State Parkway when he lost control of his Nissan Altima and struck a tree near Exit 42 in Dix Hills, State Police told Newsday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Wintry road conditions are not believed to have played a role in the crash, but the accident is under investigation.
“Patty,” as Aiello was known, retired from his job as a New York City sanitation foreman about 20 years ago and had been a full-time maintenance worker at the firehouse ever. His three daughters often tried to convince their father to cut back on his hours, but Aiello rarely took a day off, friends told Newsday.
Aiello was the son of Italian immigrants who sold produce from a pushcart in the Little Italy section of the Bronx, his daughter Rose Ann Pfeiffer, 57, of Smithtown, told Newsday. “They came from nothing . . . and they had to make a living,” Pfeiffer said. “His father was like that; his mother was like that.”
In the 1970’s, Aiello and his wife, Mary, and three daughters, moved to East Meadow, where Aiello joined the fire department and quickly melded in with the like-family atmosphere. He rose to the rank of rescue captain and became a lifetime member of Ladder Co. No. 1, according to Newsday.
He didn’t work on Monday and on Tuesday Jim Aspenleiter, an East Meadow volunteer and maintenance worker, called to check on Aiello. Aiello told Aspenleiter he was sick, so Aspenleiter told him to take the day off, but Aiello said he planned to come into work.