A Dallas firefighter died Monday night after he fell about 40 feet from an icy overpass onto a bridge below.
The firefighter, identified as 40-year-old William Scott Tanksley, was among emergency crews assisting a motorist in Southwest Dallas on a flyover from eastbound Interstate 20 to Spur 408.
Initial reports indicated a passing car slid on the ice and struck Tanksley, forcing him over the side of the bridge and onto an overpass below.
"A lot of people got out of their cars," said witness Antuanette Parram. "He was just laying there."
Parram said the fireman — in uniform but not wearing a helmet — was face down and unresponsive.
"There was nothing we could do," Parram said.
Fellow rescuers initially called for a CareFlite air ambulance, but weather conditions were too poor to fly. Tanksley was rushed by ground ambulance to Methodist Central Hospital in Dallas where he was pronounced dead upon arrival, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue.
"The members of Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) are working through the sudden loss of our brother William Scott Tanksley. Scott was a husband, father, brother and son to his biological family, and we are embracing them and meeting their immediate needs as we move through this sudden and unexpected loss. To the members of DFR, Scott's loss is a challenging, our hearts are heavy, however we will press on providing the citizens of Dallas the best service we can," said Joel Lavendar, with DFR, in a news release Tuesday.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings released the following statement.
“Dallas mourns the loss of one of our own, Dallas firefighter William Scott Tanksley. As a member of Dallas Fire-Rescue for 14 years, Tanksley dedicated his life to serving the residents of our city in time of need. His death proves what a dangerous job our firefighters are tasked with every day. On behalf of the City of Dallas, I extend heartfelt condolences to the Tanksley Family and the entire Dallas Fire-Rescue team,” said Rawlings.
Tanksley, who was assigned to Fire Station 12, leaves behind a wife and three children.