A Harker Heights firefighter died Tuesday morning while he was off-duty. Texas DPS Troopers responded to a major crash involving three vehicles.

A 2021 Toyota RAV SUV, operated by a 24 year-old woman from Harker Heights, Texas was travelling eastbound on State Highway 9. The investigating Trooper stated that the driver claimed that her visibility was impaired by the rising sun. The driver of the Toyota failed to maintain in the eastbound lane and crossed into the westbound lane.

The Toyota crossed into the path of a westbound 2014 Chevrolet sedan, operated by 23 year-old Cole Hagen Simmons of West, Texas. The Toyota’s left side collided with the right side of the Chevrolet sedan.

The impact caused the Chevrolet sedan to lose control and go into a side skid sending the Chevrolet into the westbound lane of traffic. The Chevrolet crossed into the path of an eastbound 2013 Chrysler sedan, operated by a 55 year-old woman from Kempner, Texas.

The Chrysler front end impacted the rear of the Chevrolet. All three of the drivers were transported to Advent Medical Center for treatment.

Simmons succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead by the medical staff. The two other drivers sustained non-incapacitating injuries.

Simmons was a firefighter and an EMT with the department since August of 2021. Chief Paul D. Sims says, Simmons made an immediate impression on all members of the department and that they are grateful for the chance to serve with him.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time. The Harker Heights Fire Department is asking for thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

The crash investigation is still active and open. For a complete copy of this crash report go to texas.gov.