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Thousands mourn Tallahassee Fire Department captain who died in crash Saturday night

Two men shake hands in front of a Tallahassee Fire Department sign.
Tallahassee Fire Department
Upon his promotion, Tallahassee Fire Captain Brenden Rudy shakes hands with Chief Jerome Gaines

Condolences are pouring in for Tallahassee Fire Captain Brenden Rudy, who died in an off-duty accident Saturday night.

The fire department had just promoted Rudy from lieutenant to captain on August 31st and posted a photo to Facebook of him shaking hands with Chief Jerome Gaines, his face shining with happiness and pride.

Just 10 days later, the Department wrote, it had “suffered a tremendous loss” … Captain Rudy was a family man, leader, and his loss will be felt deeply across our community.”

Thousands of people responded with messages of sorrow and prayer.

The Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County EMS, and many other first responders were among them.

One friend wrote she would remember him as he was promoted to captain: “his excitement and smiling face!!”

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.