101-Year Old Pearl Harbor Survivor Dies After Car Crash in Paterson
Just one day after Memorial Day remembrances came to and end, a 101-year-old New Jersey man who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor succumbed to injuries he suffered in a car crash Sunday, according to reports.
According to NorthJersey.com, the crash took place Sunday afternoon. Authorities told the website that Walton's car grazed a firetruck before hitting the Paterson Fire Department building on Getty Avenue where he once served as a captain.
"While he survived Pearl Harbor and the dangers of being a Paterson firefighter, John Walton unfortunately did not survive a car crash," Paterson City Councilman Andre Sayegh said in a Facebook post Tuesday.
The retired firefighter was 27 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the article states. According to NorthJersey.com, Walton left his job at an aeronautical company to enlist in the Navy the year before the attack, which killed 2,400 Americans and launched the country into World War II.
“I think the most tragic thing is that after a long career of putting his life in jeopardy he died from traffic accident,” Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres told NorthJersey.com. “Not from a burning building. Not from a torpedo. But from a car crash.”
On its Facebook Page Tuesday, an organization known as the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument also reported the news, stating that Walton was in the barracks when the attack on Pearl harbor took place.
In October of 2014, Walton was honored by the Paterson Fire Department as a "Hometown Hero."