Texas firefighter dies after being struck on highway; 2 DPS troopers injured on scene
West Firefighter Edward Hykel was injured in the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion
Duty Death: Edward "Eddie" Hykel - [West, Texas]
End of Service: 03/28/2023
By Leila Merrill
WEST, Texas — Firefighter Edward "Eddie" Hykel, 60, died Tuesday after being struck by a vehicle while working to control traffic at the site of a vehicle fire on Interstate 35, KWTX reported. Two Department of Public Safety troopers were injured in the crash, too.
Hykel was injured in the 2013 West fertilizer plant explosion, West Mayor Tommy Muska told the news outlet. The blast killed 15 people and injured hundreds.
Hykel served in the fire service for 12 years, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Muska said Hykel worked in the city's Public Works and Water Department.
“He was a valuable asset to the city of West and was a great employee,” Muska said. “I can’t say enough about his attitude about work and life. He just had a get-it-done attitude.”
The DPS said the inside lane was shut down with traffic control devices, a fire truck and two patrol units. Then the driver of a tractor-trailer “disregarded the traffic control devices and struck the fire truck and two patrol units.”
One of the vehicles struck Hykel. EMS providers transported him to Baylor Scott and White Hospital in critical condition. The two troopers were also transported.
Hykel was pronounced dead at the hospital.
An investigation is ongoing.