MANHATTAN — A New York City paramedic was found dead near Aspen, Colo., on Tuesday, the victim of a fatal fall during a hiking trip.
Leonard Joyner, 31, who worked for the FDNY as a paramedic in Manhattan, was reportedly hiking in the Maroon Bells area about 12 miles southwest of Aspen this past week.
Joyner’s younger brother, Jarrett, said that Joyner was hiking with friends, but on the second night of his trip, he decided to venture out alone. That night, the shale beneath Joyner gave out, his brother said, and Joyner fell.
“He was alone at the time of the accident, but he wasn’t somewhere that required a buddy,” Jarrett said in a phone interview with DNAinfo.com New York. ““It was one of these freak accidents. Unfortunately, the fall killed him.”
Joyner was reportedly missing for several days before aerial search crews found his body.
Jarrett said his brother was an avid hiker and athlete, who was skiing in Utah just before the accident and ran a marathon in Rhode Island back in May.
An FDNY spokesman said Joyner had been a paramedic for the past six years and was currently assigned to the EMS station on West 23rd Street near the High Line in Manhattan.
The spokesman described Joyner as a good paramedic who was dedicated to his profession and as a “respected” and “very likeable” colleague.
Jarrett said his older brother fell in love with the fire department while working in a volunteer fire department in his hometown of Pleasantville, N.Y.
“He wanted to be a paramedic,” Jarrett said. “He was a lifeguard, eagle scout. It was just in his nature.”
The FDNY spokesman said the department has not planned a memorial service for Joyner at this time.