HOUSTON -

It is an incredibly somber day for the entire community saying goodbye to veteran firefighter Mark Braswell who died suddenly last week. It is clear he was not only well-respected but loved by his colleagues.

On Wednesday, over 1,000 people gathered at Foundry United Methodist Church on Jones Road to pay their respects to the man remembered as both a devoted family man and respected officer.

"He has been a good friend. I have known him over 20 years, he has been a great leader and partner. Not only will Cy-Fair Volunteers Fire Dept miss him as a member, but a community will miss him as a service provider," said Asst. Chief Dennis Lee, with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Dept.

Sky 2 was over the procession that started at Beresford Funeral Home in Alief. The 20-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department and Cy Fair Assistant Chief died Friday after investigators say he collided with a parked landscaping trailer while cycling in Northwest Harris County.

"Disbelief. You don't expect things like this to happen. You see it every day, but you don't expect it to happen to your own people," said Lee.

It's a freak accident many of his colleagues are finding difficult to deal with.

"People are still trying to wrap their arms around how exactly it happened, and I don't know if we will ever know 100 percent," said Lee.

Not only was Chief Braswell a dedicated fireman, but he was also a veteran of the United States Navy serving in Desert Storm.

He leaves behind his wife, Michelle, who is a Missouri City firefighter, and two children.