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Hundreds mourn firefighter killed in Christmas Day crash

December 30, 2018
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The casket of of the late firefighter Natalie Dempsey is carried into Absegami High School for a viewing and services Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Galloway Township, N.J. Authorities have said the 21-year-old Mays Landing resident was responding to a reported chimney fire when she lost control of her car shortly before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and struck a guardrail. (Charles J. Olson/The Press of Atlantic City via AP)

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) — Funeral services have been held for a volunteer firefighter in southern New Jersey who was killed in a crash as she responded to a call on Christmas Day.

Hundreds of mourners — many of them firefighters and emergency responders from across New Jersey and from other states — gathered Sunday at Absegami High School to mourn Natalie Dempsey.

Authorities have said the 21-year-old Mays Landing resident was responding to a reported chimney fire when she lost control of her car shortly before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and struck a guardrail. The Mizpah Volunteer Fire Company member was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mizpah Chief Jay Davenport says Dempsey had been a volunteer firefighter for three years. She had hoped to become a police officer and attended the police academy over the summer.

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