Lubbock firefighter, police officer killed while working crash on Interstate 27

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LUBBOCK, Texas – A firefighter and police officer were killed while working at the scene of a traffic crash in far North Lubbock Saturday morning, according to city officials.

A second firefighter was also critically injured.

The incident was reported around 8:50 a.m. in the area of Interstate 27 and Drew Street (Farm-to-Market Road 1294).

The deaths of the first responders were announced during a joint press conference between the Lubbock Police Department and Lubbock Fire Rescue late Saturday morning.

The victims were not identified during the press conference, but their names were later released early Saturday afternoon.

The police officer killed was identified as Nicholas Reyna, 27.

Left to right: Hill, Reyna, Dawson (Photos provided by City of Lubbock)

Reyna had served with LPD for one year and died at the scene, Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said.

Eric Hill, 39, a lieutenant and paramedic died at University Medical Center, Lubbock Fire Chief Shaun Fogerson said.

Hill was a 10 year veteran of LFR.

Matt Dawson, 30, a firefighter and paramedic remains hospitalized at UMC in critical condition.

Dawson has been with LFR for five years.

Mayor Dan Pope and the Lubbock City Council released the following a joint statement early Saturday afternoon:

“Today our City grieves and expresses prayers for the loss of the two First Responders who lost their lives today in the line of duty and to the injured Fire Fighter. This is a tragic event.  Our hearts go out to the families and likewise to the brave men and women who serve in Lubbock Fire Rescue and in the Lubbock Police Department. Public service is a high calling, and we are indebted to those who serve and protect our lives and safety each and every day. I ask you to offer your prayers and comforting thoughts in light of today’s tragic events.”

Lubbock City Manager Jarrett Atkinson also released a statement early Saturday afternoon:

Today is a devastating day for the City of Lubbock, Lubbock Police Department and Lubbock Fire Rescue as we mourn the loss of valued heroes and public servants. Our Public Safety employees work day and night to protect us and are often required to place themselves in harm’s way.  Today, we lost two of these heroes and a third is critically injured.  We grieve with the families and loved ones of the Police Officer and Fire Fighter that were killed in the line of duty today.  We also offer our support, assistance and prayers for our injured Fire Fighter, his family and loved ones. Please join us in supporting our police, fire and City families during this trying time.” 

Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parish has ordered flags lowered to half-staff at all county buildings.

Judge Parish released the following late Saturday afternoon:

“The Lubbock community mourns the loss of our honored First Responders.  Our hearts go out to their families, the men and women of the Lubbock Police Department and Lubbock Fire Rescue, and to the entire community in this time of loss.  As such, it is fitting that flags should be lowered immediately to half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives. Therefore, I direct the flags which fly over Lubbock County buildings be immediately lowered to half-staff on Saturday, January 11, 2020, in memory of those who lost their lives.  Flags should remain at half-staff through sunset on Friday, January 17, 2020.  Individuals, businesses, municipalities, other political subdivisions, and entities within Lubbock County are encouraged to fly their flags at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of honor and respect.  Brenda and I extend our prayers of comfort to the families and all the men and women of the LPD and LFR and we will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

You can watch a replay of the joint LPD/LFR press conference below.

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