A South Jersey volunteer firefighter died after losing control of her car while responding to a call on Christmas morning.
Natalie Dempsey, 21, was driving her 2001 Honda Accord westbound along Landis Avenue just west of Estelle Avenue in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County, around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday when she crashed, authorities said.
She died at the scene.
Firefighters from the Mizpah Volunteer Fire Department, where Dempsey served as a firefighter and vice president, responded to the wreck, along with Mays Landing firefighters and the Township of Hamilton Rescue Squad, police said.
Mizpah Chief Jay Davenport told the Associated Press that Dempsey's death "has hit us hard."
She was responding to house fire at the time.
Davenport also told the AP that Dempsey had been a volunteer firefighter for three years, hoped to become a police officer and attended the police academy over the summer. He said she was "a beautiful person ... a light in the sky."
In a Facebook post, the Mizpah fire company asked for people to keep Natalie’s family in their prayers.
Firefighters and Davenport's family came together on Christmas night to remember their fallen colleague and loved one.
A funeral with "full honors due to it being a line of duty passing" will be announced soon, firefighters said.