Paterson firefighter ID’d as bicyclist killed in fall

Posted: Updated:

A Paterson firefighter has been identified as the man who died Monday after falling off a cliff while riding a mountain bike in Cedar Grove.

Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura on Monday said the victim was a 49-year-old Wayne resident who was an active member of the fire department.

A post Tuesday morning on the Paterson Fire Department's official Facebook page identified the firefighter as Kerry Rivera. According to the post, he leaves behind a wife and two children.

Bunting was hung and flags were lowered to half-staff Tuesday morning at the Paterson Fire Department.

“(Rivera was) very dedicated to his family. I can remember sitting here in the kitchen with him talking to him about events he was taking his daughter to and stuff like that. (He was) really prideful, and as you could see, a very dedicated family man,” Paterson Fire Chief Michael Postorino said.

Officials said Rivera was biking with his brother at the Mills Reservation in Cedar Grove around 9 a.m. Monday when he lost control and fell onto the rocky ledge.

"He just got off duty yesterday. He was sitting in the kitchen, all with his biking gear with his bike, saying he was going for a bike ride.  Unfortunately, an hour and a half later, he passed,” Postorino said.

Rescuers needed ropes to reach Rivera and recover his body. Police said Rivera was wearing a helmet.

Some told tell News 12 New Jersey that they have been worried about some of the trails at the reservation.

“The only concern I have is the trail closest to the end,” says Dottie Diess. “It’s very dangerous. Maybe they can put a fence up to make it safer than it is.”

Authorities said the fall appears to have been accidental and foul play is not suspected. However, an investigation into Rivera's death is ongoing.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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