Baseball players, coaches and parents gathered in Mabank on Tuesday night to remember the Dallas firefighter who coached their team and was killed Monday night.
William Scott Tanksley, 40, with Dallas Fire-Rescue died after falling off a bridge while working an accident on a bridge over Interstate 20 and Spur 408 in southwest Dallas.
Tanksley was helping out at the scene of a crash when another car lost traction on the bridge. The sliding car hit the disabled vehicle, and that hit Tanksley.
He fell 56 feet onto the road below. Accident investigators returned to the crash site Tuesday night, searching for any more evidence they might find.
Tuesday night, baseball players from the team he coached with other father fighters, the Heroes, talked about how Tanksley inspired them, and how they looked up to him.
Baseball was a big part of Tanksley's life. He was drafted out of Kemp High School, but decided to pitch at Mississippi State.
Minnesota drafted him after his junior year at MSU, and he played three seasons in the Twins organization.
His death has also shaken his family, friends and fellow firefighters.
His body was brought to a funeral home Tuesday evening, where, per tradition, several firefighters will stay with his body through the night, rotating in shifts.
"He was just a solid citizen; a solid person," said Randy Teague, one of Tanksley's longtime friends. "If something was wrong, he wasn't going to let it continue without him helping…confronting…trying to do something. I'm not surprised at all that he was involved in trying to help."
Tanksley was a 14-year fire veteran of the force. He worked at Station 12 on Wheatland Road.
"He was doing his job as we do every day, giving it all he had to provide service," said DFR Chief Louie Bright. "We're very saddened right now because of what occurred. But we're going to be strong and survive it and get through it. And again, we plan to be all the support we can for his family at this time."
Tanksley leaves behind a wife and three children ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings issued the following statement about Tanksley:
"Dallas mourns the loss of one of our own, Dallas firefighter William Scott Tanksley. As a member of Dallas Fire-Rescue for 14 years, Tanksley dedicated his life to serving the residents of our city in time of need. His death proves what a dangerous job our firefighters are tasked with every day. On behalf of the City of Dallas, I extend heartfelt condolences to the Tanksley Family and the entire Dallas Fire-Rescue team."
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins expressed his thanks to firemen like Tanksley.
"I really appreciate the sacrifice of our firefighters," said Tanksley. "It just illustrates the danger that they have every day, and the need for the public to really be mindful of them when you see them on the road. Slow down and really move completely out of the way."
The driver that caused the fatal fall did stop to help and will not be charged, officials said.
Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced within the next few days.
KDFW FOX 4
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