NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Fall Fire Department is mourning the loss of Keifer Stahlman, a captain and 19-year-veteran with the department. Stahlman, 51, was killed while driving his motorcycle on Christmas Eve, after Town of Niagara Police say a 19-year-old woman exiting the Fashion Outlets hit him with her car.
According to police, Stahlman was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene. The name of the 19-year-old woman from Grand Island has not been released. The crash happened around 5 p.m. Monday.
"Total devastation and it was just a tremendous blow to everybody on the job," Acting Chief Clifford Mayes from NFFD said. "The whole fire department is a family. He was part of it. He was a very big part of it, very active. He's going to be missed by everybody just as that. He wasn't just a coworker. This is way bigger than that."
Stahlman was well known in the department for his compassion on the job, according to Mayes.
"You'd often see Kiefer comforting somebody by putting an arm on their shoulder or holding their hands, which is something that sometimes we miss," he said. "He would get that every time. I would notice that he was always trying to make that person feel a little bit better on their bad day."
Mayes says Stahlman leaves behind his wife, Amy, three children Josh, Deven and Sarah, along with his mother Joann and sister Kristen.