Western Slope native son, firefighter Eric Hill dies in CDOT accident
GYPSUM — Eric Hill — a native son, graduate of Eagle Valley High School and well-known Gypsum and Eagle firefighter — died in a work accident near Dotsero on Saturday.
Hill was on the job with Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance when he was killed.
“We are devastated by the loss of one of our own. Eric Hill was dedicated to keeping his community safe, both as part of the CDOT team and during his long career with the Gypsum fire protection district,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “All of CDOT joins together in supporting his family, friends and neighbors and colleagues during this tragic time.”
According to the CDOT statement, Hill was struck by a CDOT vehicle during a maintenance operation near Dotsero Saturday evening. The Colorado State Patrol and CDOT are conducting an investigation regarding the accident and the statement said further details will be provided in the coming days.
Hill was a member of the Gypsum Fire Department for 19 years as both a volunteer and paid lieutenant and EMT-B. He also served as a lieutenant with the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District. A lifelong resident of Gypsum, Hill graduated from EVHS in 1986 and he served in the United States Air Force for four years.
Hill is survived by his wife, Cissy, two grown children, Kasie Reynolds-Vasquez and Tyler Dohman, and a 9-year-old son, Brodie Hill, and two granddaughters.
“Each CDOT employee is part of a work family that supports and cares for one another, and we all mourn the loss of Eric Hill,” Kyle Lester, CDOT’s director of the division of highway maintenance, said in a statement. “Our strength and hope will be there to support Eric Hill’s family, as we have also lost a family member.”
Members of the Gypsum Fire Department responded to the scene of the accident Saturday. Hill’s fellow firefighters shared news of his passing late Saturday evening with a Facebook post.
“We are heartbroken to report that we lost one of our own tonight in an off-duty accident,” read the Gypsum Fire Protection District Facebook post. “Eric was an amazing firefighter, a mentor to many of our members and a beloved community member. His loss will be deeply felt throughout Gypsum, Eagle and all who knew him.”
4:19 a.m. On the 900 block of Industrial Avenue, police in Craig responded to a state parks related incident. Craig police said someone was looking around a business with flashlights, but police found the business secure and no crime had been committed.