Update: Lubbock PD Releases Names of Two First Responders Killed While Working Crash
Update: The Lubbock Police Department has released the name of the officer who was killed in a crash Saturday morning: 27-year-old Nicholas Reyna.
Reyna had served on the Lubbock Police Department for just one year.
LPD also confirmed the name of the Lubbock Fire Rescue first responder who was killed in the crash as 39-year-old paramedic Lt. Eric Hill.
Hill was a 10-year veteran with LFR. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in July 2019 and worked at Fire Station 10B.
The firefighter who was injured in the crash was identified as 30-year-old firefighter/paramedic Matt Dawson. Dawson has been with LFR for five years and is stationed at Fire Station 2A. He was listed in critical condition at the time of this update.
Original story: A Lubbock police officer and a Lubbock firefighter were killed after being struck by a vehicle while working a pair of crashes on Interstate 27 in north Lubbock Saturday morning (January 11th, 2020).
According to Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell, the two first responders were working at the crash site of two back-to-back accidents north when they were hit by a vehicle.
"At approximately 8:19 this morning, Lubbock police and firefighters were dispatched to a single vehicular rollover accident on I-27 northbound near Drew Street, or approximately mile marker number 12. The vehicle appeared to have been traveling southbound, crossed over into the northbound lanes, and came to rest," Chief Mitchell said at a press conference Saturday morning. "At approximately 8:36, emergency responders, police and firefighters, arrived on scene and began to work the first accident. While working this accident, a second vehicle traveling southbound on I-27 crossed over into the median. This vehicle had a trailer behind it that it was carrying, and it came to rest also in the median, about 25 to 50 yards south of the first accident that the emergency responders were working."
It was during the cleanup of these first two accidents when a third crash occurred, Chief Mitchell explained.
"While working both accidents, a third vehicle traveling southbound on I-27 crossed over into the median and struck two firefighters and one police officer. This vehicle continued to travel and crossed over into the northbound lanes and came to rest after going down an embankment," said Chief Mitchell.
The deceased police officer was only described by Chief Mitchell as a 27-year-old male with one year of service on the force. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The two firefighters that were struck were both transported to University Medical Center. One firefighter, a 39-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Lubbock Fire Rescue Chief Shaun Fogerson. The other, a 30-year-old male, was in "very critical condition."
"This is a tragic day for our family. This is a tragic day for both police and fire, and the men and women of both of our departments," Chief Mitchell said. "When road conditions get this bad, we need to make sure that people understand they need to slow down. They need to understand that road conditions are dangerous, that we have people out there trying to protect them, and speed and road conditions are always a factor."
Chief Fogerson added: "In the last severe weather event, we had two police vehicles and one fire vehicle struck. At that time, we had damaged equipment. Now we've lost personnel. It's a huge loss for the public safety community here, and it was very unnecessary. If people would respect road conditions, things like this wouldn't have to happen."
Watch the press conference about the crash below.