The freezing drizzle that rolled into town on Monday evening was, as far as recent North Texas winter storms go, a mild one. No coating of ice snapping tree limbs, no blanket of snow, just a really cold mist.
It was just enough to ice over the flyovers where Highway Spur 408 crosses Interstate 20. There, at about 8:10 p.m., firefighters responded to a wreck.
Among the responding personnel was William Scott Tanksley, 40, a 14-year veteran of Dallas Fire-Rescue a father of three, ages 4-13. As he was working the crash, he "somehow" fell from the bridge, according to a DFR news release.[jump]
Passing drivers reported finding Tanksley face down and unresponsive on the ramp from Spur 408 to eastbound I-20. He was taken to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what made Tanksley fall. NBC 5 seems pretty confident that he was hit by a passing car that slipped on the ice and forced him over the edge.
DFR spokesman Jason Evans told The Dallas Morning News last night that it was too early to tell, noting that the scene on the bridge was extremely chaotic.
"That road out there was horrible," Evans said. "There were so many accidents on that bridge you didn't know if that was what they were responding to or if there were other accidents that occurred since then."
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.