Today’s news:

FDNY marshal dies in car crash in Hollis Hills

TimesLedger Newspapers

An off-duty fire marshal died near his Hollis Hills home Christmas Eve after suffering an apparent heart attack behind the wheel, the New York Police Department said.

And days after his death, those closest to Martin “Woody” McHale, the 50-year-old husband and father of young twin boys, grieved the loss of their celebrated and decorated FDNY hero.

“He was one of the greatest men this city had to offer,” said Vanessa Primiani, of Woody McHale’s Bar and Grill in Manhattan, which was named after the late marshal in honor of the nickname that followed him for more than half of his life. “Everywhere he went he made friends. People loved him. We loved him. That’s why we named our bar after him.”

Police said McHale was driving his gray Chevrolet Silverado on 85th Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Monday when he lost control before striking a tree. He was taken to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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