A solemn procession of firefighters took place on Tuesday for former Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Battalion Chief Jerome Boyd who died suddenly April 28 while driving on duty near downtown Los Angeles.

Boyd, 55, had served with the department for more than 30 years. His last assignment was with the Fire Prevention Bureau’s Public Safety Section.

Boyd’s Ford Crown Victoria sedan rear-ended a pickup in the area of 17th and Los Angeles streets at about 11 a.m. He was taken to a nearby hospital by an LAFD ambulance, but attempts to save him were unsuccessful. The Los Angeles Coroner’s office was expected to release autopsy results this week. Funeral services were pending at press time.

Tuesday’s procession left Fire Station No. 3 at 108 N. Fremont St. and drove past Fire Station No. 33, 6403 S. Main St., where Boyd served for a time.

Boyd was a popular member of the department. The former football player graduated at the top of his class when competing for the position of captain.

“Chief Boyd was an outstanding man and a trusted leader within the department,” said Roy Harvey, assistant fire marshall with the LAFD. “He was never afraid of the tough decision. He served as an inspiration to not only young Black men interested in becoming a firefighter, but to all young people he encoutered. In his work with the youth the community, he placed an equal emphasis on academics as well as athletics in instillnig character and good citizenship. He will be sorely missed.”

LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said Boyd will be difficult to replace. His leadership and professional experience, he exsplained, helped to set him apart.

“I join the men and women of the LAFD in mourning Chief Boyd’s sudden passing,” Terrazas said. “It is always an unexpected tragedy to lose one of our own, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement: “Firefighters put their lives on the line for our safety every day. And when we lose one of these brave first responders, everyone in our city feels the pain of that loss. I join all Angelenos in mourning the passing of Battalion Chief Jerome Boyd, and in honoring his 30 years of dedicated service to our city.”