2017 Honoree Morris Linker | Reception Hospital

Morris Linker, 49, of the Bronx, was killed in the line of duty August 24, 1943, serving as an ambulance driver for Reception Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

Linker swerved to avoid a pedestrian and crashed the ambulance into the East River where it was submerged with Linker pinned behind the wheel.

According to the New York Times archives, an elderly woman stepped out in front of the ambulance he was driving, and he steered sharply to avoid her.

“The fender dumped her in the drive, more frightened than hurt, but the ambulance leaped the lower curb, tore down (a tree and hit a man),” who also died later, the New York Times article read in part.

“The ambulance, still upright, cleared the retaining wall and landed on its wheels in 10-feet of water, completely submerged.” Two hours passed before a department of sanitation truck lifted the vehicle where they found Linker slumped over the wheel.