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POST – Sunday, January 12, the Post Volunteer Fire Department and the Garza County EMS paid homage to fallen 39-year-old Lieutenant/Paramedic Eric Hill and 27-year-old Officer Nicholas Reyna.
Lubbock Police Department and Lubbock Fire Rescue had been working the scene of an icy crash on I-27 when a vehicle crossed into the median and struck two firefighters and a police officer on Saturday morning, January 11. Reyna was pronounced dead at the scene and the two firefighters were rushed to University Medical Center where Hill died. 30-year-old Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Dawson was announced to be in critical condition as of Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon, Dawson was said to be doing “better than expected” and was able to respond to his wife. Although major bones in his face were broken, he tested positive to neurological checks.
Lt. Hill and Officer Reyna were transported to the Fort Worth Medical Examiner’s Office on January 12. Passing through Post around 10:30 a.m., Post First Responders posted along Broadway to pay tribute to Hill. The Post Volunteer Fire Department stationed themselves at 8th and Broadway with the Garza County EMS at Main and Broadway.
“It is not possible to express the hurt we all feel from the death of our own officer, the death and injuries to our firefighter brothers and the grief of their families and friends,” Lubbock Police Department said.
As of Monday, January 13, Hill and Reyna were returned to Lubbock, passing through Post around 5:00 p.m. This time, alongside Post first responders, was the community. Individuals lined up for blocks along Broadway to show their respect for the first responders. Truck drivers parked their trucks and began to get out, removing their hats, in reverence.
“Thank you so much for the respect shown today and yesterday for our son Eric,” Susan Wright Hill wrote in a social media post, “Again, thank you to everyone.”