Kemp man killed while aiding motorist

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 13, 2014

Courtesy Photo William Scott Tanksley

Courtesy Photo
William Scott Tanksley

Dallas firefighter Scott Tanksley hit by second skidding vehicle

Monitor Staff Reports
DALLAS–As Cedar Creek Lake area residents woke up Tuesday morning, they were shocked to learn the Dallas firefighter that fell to his death Monday night was a beloved Kemp resident.
William Scott Tanksley, 40, known as Scott, was a popular hometown boy, husband and a father actively involved in the raising of his three children.
Monday night as the drizzle turned to ice on bridges and overpasses in the Dallas area, Tanksley, a 14-year Dallas Fire-Rescue veteran assigned to Station 12, was assisting with a motor vehicle crash at 6300 Patriot Parkway (Spur 408), which is the bridge over Interstate 20 in southwest Dallas close to Duncanville.
WFAA-TV reported that a driver heading south on Patriot Parkway lost traction as a result of unsafe speed and had come to a stop on the shoulder of the iced over bridge. While Tanksley was assisting with the accident about 8 p.m., a four-door 2009 maroon Dodge struck another vehicle and then hit Tanksley, knocking him 56 feet over the west side of the bridge landing on the eastbound I-20 ramp below.
A witness reported that Tanksley was in his uniform, not wearing a helmet, face down and unresponsive.
Dallas News reports stated Tanksley was transported by ambulance, since it was too dangerous to bring in a helicopter, to Methodist Dallas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead as a result of blunt force trauma injuries sustained in the crash.
A Facebook page Remembering Firefighter Scott Tanksley DFD Last Alarm 2/10/14 has been set up for those wishing to express their sympathies and share memories.
Condolences from other fire departments and law enforcement agencies immediately poured in.
Many men in the area remember playing ball with Tanksley while he attended Kemp High School. Baseball-reference.com indicates he also attended Mississippi State University from 1993-95 on a baseball scholarship as a pitcher and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 42nd round of the 1992 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft and by the Minnesota Twins in the 22nd round of the 1995 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft. A Facebook post states he is the Mississippi State University season saves record holder at 13 games.
Kemp High School graduate Gil Beleele, who played baseball with Tanksley, commented on Facebook that his left thumb will never be the same.
“It was broken (thumb) two years in a row catching for him,” Beleele wrote.
“He tried to be perfect and expected it from you.”
Beleele remembers Tanksley as the best hitter on the team; calling him, “Tank.”
James Hall has organized a bench press competition with all proceeds going to Tanksley’s family. The event will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Complete Fitness Gym at104 Paschall Rd. in Mabank. The entry fee is $25 with prizes for the winners.
Paul Guttuso, M.D. in Mabank posted on Facebook, “as our community grieves the loss of a young father, please embrace your children.”
Guttuso suggests that parents ask their children how they feel about the news, if they know Tanksley’s children or a friend and suggests discussing how they can show their love and support.
The United States flag has been lowered to half-mast at Tanksley’s fire station, located at 7520 West Wheatland Road in Dallas, in tribute to his passing.