Accident Claims Texas Firefighter

Firefighters are traveling to Hamilton, Texas today to honor one of their own.

Members of at least 20 fire companies are expected to attend services for a rookie firefighter from Carlton killed Tuesday in a crash while en route to a wildland fire.

Clint D. Rice, 28, lost control of the tanker as it rounded a curve. He was ejected as it overturned. Troopers said he was not wearing a seatbelt.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Rice had only been a member of Carlton Vol. Fire Co. for three months, but Chief Bill Hollingsworth said he was impressed. "I knew he would be a good firefighter."

Hollingsworth said Rice developed an interest in joining the ranks while working on the company's fire trucks. "He and his dad, who also is a member, donated their mechanical skills."

Rice's death has left a void in the rural Texas community, and Hollingsworth said he has been contacted by many people, including firefighters offering to lend support. The chief said the impact has not sunk in just yet.

"We're a small, all-volunteer company with about 20 members," he said, adding that the community would be leaning on one another to get through the difficult time.