NJ firefighter on way to answer call dies in single-car crash

Natalie Dempsey, a volunteer firefighter from Mays Landing, died in a single-car crash on her way to answer a call on Christmas morning. (Mizpah Volunteer Fire Department)

Officials say a volunteer New Jersey firefighter on her way to answer a call on Christmas morning died in a single-car crash.

Police in Hamilton Township say 21-year-old Natalie Dempsey of Mays Landing lost control of her car shortly before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and struck a guardrail. Police say she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chief Jay Davenport of the Mizpah Volunteer Fire Department said Dempsey was on her way to a call. He said the department is like "a close-knit family" and "This one has hit us hard."

Davenport said Dempsey had been a volunteer firefighter for three years, hoped to become a police officer and attended the police academy over the summer. He said she was "a beautiful person ... a light in the sky."