Central Texas firefighter killed in wreck while off-duty
HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) - Harker Heights Firefighter and EMT Cole Hagen Simmons, of West, Texas, was killed in an early-morning wreck involving three vehicles and a driver who claimed her visibility was impaired by the rising sun, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
DPS Troopers responded to the scene of the wreck on SH 9 at about 7:30 a.m. An investigation revealed the driver of a 2021 Toyota RAV SUV, a 24-year-old woman from Harker Heights, was travelling east on SH 9.
DPS said the woman claimed her visibility was impaired by the rising sun, resulting in her crossing into the westbound lane and colliding with a westbound 2014 Chevrolet sedan driven by the 23-year-old Simmons.
The impact caused Simmons to lose control of the Chevrolet sedan and side-skid into oncoming traffic, DPS said.
Simmons’ Chevrolet crossed into the path of an eastbound 2013 Chrysler sedan, operated by a 55 year-old woman from Kempner, Texas.
The Chrysler and the Chevrolet vehicles collided.
DPS said all three driver were transported to Advent Medical Center for treatment.
Simmons succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by medical staff. The two other drivers sustained injuries. The crash investigation is still active and open.
The City of Harker Heights said Simmons had been with the department since August 2021.
He made “an immediate impression on all members of the department and we are grateful to have served with him,” the City said.
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