An Abbott firefighter was struck and killed while serving as a spotter along Interstate 35 Friday night. The incident occurred less than a month after a West firefighter died after being struck just five miles away.
Abbott firefighters were called to an accident around mile marker 359 about 7:15 p.m.
“As they arrived, it was determined that it was actually a stranded motorist and they opted to stay on scene to assist with traffic control until a wrecker arrived,” the Hill County Sheriff’s office told KWTX. Crews decided to reposition the apparatus since it was not a crash.
Firefighter Horace Dan Wright was killed when he was “backed into by the firetruck” near mile marker 359.
Crews treated Wright at the scene and he was rushed to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest hospital in Waco. He was pronounced a short time later, officials said.
“Immediately, life saving measures were started and additional emergency services were summoned to the scene,” the statement from sheriff’s said.
“You’d think going into a burning building is dangerous. Working I-35 is a whole lot more dangerous,” West Mayor Tommy Muska told KWTX.com last month when West firefighter Edward Hykel was killed after he and two police officers were struck mile marker 354 on March 28. “People don’t take their time, people don’t respect a fire engine straddling the road.”
Hykel, 60, was injured in the April 17, 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer plant.
The tragic incident Friday comes just three days before the 10th anniversary of the explosion that killed 12 firefighters and EMT in the small town of West – about 90 miles south of Dallas.
Two Abbott firefighters — Jerry D. Chapman and Cyrus A. Reed — were among the 12 killed in the explosion.