The widow of an FDNY veteran killed when a tree fell on the family’s SUV in North Carolina told The Post on Sunday that her selfless husband died the way he would have chosen — with everyone else spared.
“I have more of a smile on my face than tears in my eyes thinking about the kind of person he was,’’ Angela Skudin said of her husband Casey, a Bravest dad who would have turned 46 on Father’s Day on Sunday.
“If it had to happen, it happened the way he wanted it to happen — he took it for everyone,” she said of the fatal freak accident outside the Biltmore Estate in Ashville on Friday afternoon. “He did everything for us.”
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Angela was in the car along with her husband at the time, as was their 10-year-old son and his older brother. Angela and the older boy escaped with scratches, while the younger child was set to be released from a North Carolina hospital Monday and make a full recovery, she said.
“It was crazy. I was the only one that wasn’t knocked out,” Angela said. “Just watching your husband die and you can’t do anything is really insane.”
Casey Skudin, 45, was a 16-year-veteran of New York’s Bravest and was stationed at Ladder 137 in the Rockaways, the department said.
He had planned the family trip to the Carolinas to celebrate Father’s Day and his 46th birthday, his wife said.
“He picked this trip,” Angela Skudin said. “He planned the whole thing.
“My husband was literally the most amazing human I’ve ever encountered in my life,” she said, calling him “patient, kind and humble,” and a “completely devoted father and husband.”
Casey Skudin earned numerous commendations for heroism on the job, particularly in his work on water rescues and helping residents during Superstorm Sandy.
Neighbors of the family’s Long Beach home said his good deeds weren’t just on the job.
“He would work his shifts at the Fire Department, and when he came home in the wintertime, he would get out his snowblower and blow everyone’s driveways,” said neighbor Ron Coladner. “The whole street.
“A neighbor this past year had a medical emergency,” Coladner said. “Casey picked him up, and this man is twice his size. He picked him up himself and gave him CPR, made sure he was stable and called the ambulance.
“That’s the type of man he was,” he added. “You couldn’t ask for a better neighbor.”
Angela Skudin said the viewing for her husband will be Thursday at Towers Funeral Home in Oceanside with a funeral to follow Friday.
She said a “paddle-out” ceremony in the ocean off Long Beach for her husband — an avid surfer — will be held next Sunday at 9 a.m. in his memory.