City mourns loss of medic after fatal off-duty crash

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

December 8, 2021


A West resident who served as a medic for Whitney EMS and a firefighter in Harker Heights was killed in a traffic accident near Copperas Cove early Tuesday morning, November 30.


Twenty-three-year-old Cole Simmons’ vehicle was reportedly struck on State Highway 9 after another driver’s visibility was impaired by the sun and she veered into his lane. DPS officials reported that the impact caused Simmons to lose control of his vehicle and cross into oncoming traffic, where a second collision occurred.


Whitney Mayor Brad Slaten released a statement offering the city’s condolences, and he encouraged Whitney residents to show appreciation to first responders in honor of Simmons.


“When given the opportunity to do so, thank a first responder, buy their lunch or coffee, and let them know that it is in memory and honor of Cole Simmons,” Slaten said.


Simmons attended Aquilla and West schools and was a 2017 graduate of West High School. He had served as a firefighter/EMT for the Harker Heights Fire Department since August.


A procession of first responders escorted Simmons’ body from Temple to Aderhold Funeral Home in West Wednesday.


Services were scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, December 6, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West, with Rev. Jesse Motley officiating. Burial was to follow at New Lebanon Cemetery near Aquilla with firefighter honors.

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Click here to view The Lakelander’s Facebook post of Mayor Slaten’s statement expressing his condolences.

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