LUBBOCK, Texas — A Lubbock police officer and firefighter are dead after being struck by a vehicle while working two accident scenes on Interstate 27, Badge145 reported Saturday.
The men have been identified as 27-year-old Nicholas Reyna and 39-year-old Eric Hill, Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell confirmed.
Mitchell said officers and firefighters were called to a single-vehicle rollover crash on I-27 at approximately 8:19 a.m. Saturday. It appeared the vehicle was traveling southbound and crossed the median into the northbound lanes where it rolled over, Mitchell said.
Emergency crews arrived on scene at about 8:36 a.m., KHOU reported.
While investigating this scene, another vehicle hauling a trailer was traveling southbound on I-27 when it crossed over the median and came to a stop in the northbound lanes — about 25 to 50 yards away from the first accident scene, Mitchell confirmed.
As a result, police and firefighters spread their resources to work both collisions. Sadly, while doing their work, a third vehicle traveling southbound on I-27 crossed over the median and struck one Lubbock police officer and two Lubbock firefighters, Mitchell said.
Today our hearts mourn for the losses and critical injuries experienced by our Lubbock First Responder Family.
27-year-old Officer Nicholas Reyna served with the Lubbock Police Department for one year. Following the academy, he served on patrol during the day shift. pic.twitter.com/0gCD3HpRFB
— Lubbock Police Dept. (@LubbockPolice) January 11, 2020
That vehicle came to a rest in an embankment, according to KHOU.
Reyna, who has been with Lubbock Police Department for a little over a year, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two firefighters were quickly transported to a nearby hospital.
One of the firefighters died at the hospital. The other remains in very critical condition, according to the report.
During a press conference, officials blamed road conditions for the string of accidents.
“When road conditions get this bad we need people to understand that they need to slow down,” Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said.
Accident investigators are mapping the scene and looking at all factors to see if any charges will be filed.