Icy road conditions in an around Dallas made for treacherous road conditions Monday evening. Dallas Fire Rescue Firefighter William Scott Tanksley died after being hit by an out of control vehicle on a highway overpass and knocked onto the roadway 56 feet below. Firefighter Tanksley is a 14-year veteran assigned to Station 12. He was married and had three children.
As first discovered early this morning by one of our readers on Facebook, Scott Tanksley had been a minor league pitcher before becoming a firefighter in 1999.
Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 42nd round of the 1992 MLB June Amateur Draft from Kemp HS (Kemp, TX) and the Minnesota Twins in the 22nd round of the 1995 MLB June Amateur Draft from Mississippi State University (Mississippi State, MS).
A police report details how Dallas firefighter William Tanksley died on Monday night. He was standing near an accident on 6300 Patriot Parkway, which is the bridge over Interstate 20. It was iced over and a driver heading south on the bridge lost traction on the ice “as a result of unsafe speed.”
The vehicle, a four-door 2009 maroon Dodge, struck another vehicle and then careened into Tanksley, knocking him 56 feet onto the eastbound Interstate 20 ramp below. He died on the freeway, the report says.
According to a Dallas police report, Tanksley was assisting someone whose car had lost traction about 8 p.m. along southbound Patriot Parkway. That car was parked along the shoulder of the iced-over bridge.
At the same time, someone headed south on the overpass “lost traction on the ice as a result of unsafe speed,” and hit the parked car, which then hit Tanksley. The report says the firefighter was “knocked over the west side of the bridge,” and that he fell 56 feet onto the eastbound I-20 ramp.
Tanksley was taken by ambulance to Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead “as a result of blunt force trauma injuries sustained in the crash,” according to the report. Emergency workers had hoped to transport him via CareFlite, said Jason Evans, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman, but conditions were deemed too dangerous.
Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright said Tanksley was doing his job as they do every day.
“As always, the department is going to wrap our arms around his family, and our own fire department family,” Chief Bright said.
It happened in Southwest Dallas as firefighters and other emergency crews were at the scene of an accident on Spur 408 where it passes over Interstate 20.
Initial reports indicated a passing car slid on the ice and hit the firefighter, forcing him over the side of the bridge.
He fell onto the ramp from Spur 408 to east-bound I-20.