June 14, 2018 500 AM
JEFF DAVIS COUNTY – In a show of unity and support, firefighters from all over West Texas formed an escort this week for 42-year-old Richard “Andy” Loller of Weatherford, who died while fighting wildfires in Jeff Davis County Sunday.
Firefighters, both volunteers and professionals, escorted Loller’s body from Jeff Davis County to the interstate in Pecos, where each county along the route to his home county of Parker provided an escort as the procession went down the interstate.
At each county line, a new group of firefighters formed the escort through that county.
Loller came to Fort Davis last week as one of the professional firefighters from the Weatherford Fire Department. Some 300 firemen from all over the state and from 13 other states came to assist what Texas Forest Service calls the Scenic Loop Complex wildfires, a series of 20 separate fires that started June 4 when lightning moved through Far West Texas.
Loller was working in a remote area of the Davis Mountains when heat and altitude may have been involved in what was believed to be a heart attack.
Because of the remoteness of the area where he was fighting fire, emergency services called in one of the attack helicopters being used to drop water and retardant on the fires. It was used to take him out of the mountains and to the hospital in Alpine on Saturday.
On Sunday he was being transferred by air to the hospital in Odessa when he died.
A 13 year veteran of firefighting, he was assigned to the Hudson Oaks Station in Weatherford. He is survived by his wife and two children.