Vernon Crawford, a retired mechanic from the Jamaica Bus Company who lived at 133-26 150th St., went outside early on the morning of Feb. 2 to have a cigarette and apparently fell asleep, causing his black 2003 Mercury Marquis sedan to catch fire and killing him, according to his son, Herbert Crawford. "Apparently he was in the car smoking," said Herbert Crawford from his father's home on Wednesday. "He could have fallen asleep." "My niece said she heard the horn blowing and looked outside and saw the flames and called 911," said Herbert Crawford. "We figure it was a match because he is a smoker." He added his father may have fallen asleep in his car because the fire occurred early in the morning. Police and Fire departments responded to the scene at 2:40 a.m. and arrived to find the car on fire at Crawford's home. They were able to extinguish the flames and found Crawford dead inside the vehicle, according to police. The cause of death was unknown pending further tests, according to the city medical examiner. Herbert Crawford said his father lived in the home for the last 44 years and retired from the Jamaica Bus Company in 1990. "He loved to work on cars," said Herbert Crawford. "That was his thing." Herbert Crawford said his father urged him and his three brothers and four sisters to work hard and instilled a sense of values in them that they still carry to this day. "He always told us to work hard to get ahead," said Herbert Crawford. "He said to get a good job, put some money in the bank, and secure yourself." "He was a good man," said neighbor Laurette Hinkson. "He would work on my car whenever I needed him to, he was a nice, nice man." A memorial service was scheduled Friday at Jay Foster-Phillips Funeral Home at 179-24 Linden Blvd. from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to a spokeswoman at the funeral home. Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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