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Fire department grieves loss of Pasco firefighter’s daughter in tragic crash

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PASCO COUNTY (WFLA) – The Pasco County Fire Rescue confirmed the death of firefighter Hunter Garcia’s infant daughter Tuesday morning following a violent crash Friday afternoon.

Garcia, 23, was in a severe multi-vehicle crash with his wife and daughter on Van Dyke Road Friday afternoon. Pasco Fire Chief Scott Cassin confirmed Tuesday the 5-month-old child, Clara, sustained life-threatening injuries.

“It is unfortunately with an extremely heavy heart that I report that baby Clara has passed away from her injuries as of Sunday afternoon,” Cassin said. “We want to let everybody know that she was surrounded by her loving family and was supported by the thousands that have come to support her over the past few days.”

Garcia suffered serious injuries to his face and other parts of his body. His wife has undergone a few surgeries for a fractured back and pelvis. Their daughter was described as being in the worst condition.

The crash is still under investigation. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Granit said Friday a vehicle traveling on Brown Street ran through a stop sign and T-boned a car traveling westbound on Van Dyke.

In total, four cars and eight people were involved in the crash. Five of the eight were taken to the hospital; the other three declined medical treatment and remained on scene.

Garcia was discharged from the hospital Monday, but remains by his wife’s side.

Chief Cassin says other Pasco Firefighters have volunteered to fill Garcia’s shifts through December if needed so he can help his wife during this time.

If you would like to donate to the family’s cause, you can do so here.

“At an event like this when one of our own firefighters is involved, especially with the circumstances surrounding this particular incident, we all come together,” Cassin said.

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