Friends Remember Odessa Firefighter Killed in Car Accident

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Workers with the Odessa Fire Department returned to the job Monday with heavy hearts after losing one of their own.

Firefighter Christopher Clay was killed in a car accident over the weekend.

The skies are gray and rain occasionally falls from the clouds, the weather matching the somber mood of Odessa Fire and Rescue.

"When he's suddenly not there, that's a big loss, there's a big hole basically in our department," Fire Chief, Roger Boyd, said.

Boyd and countless others at the department are grieving the loss of 32-year-old firefighter Chris Clay. He was killed in a car accident over the weekend near Penwell.

"We're trying to help his family right now to help them deal with the loss. I know they're really struggling right now," Boyd said.

DPS troopers said Clay was westbound on Interstate 20 when he left the road, overcorrected, crossed the service road and rolled his vehicle several times before ending up by train tracks.

Officials haven't released a cause for the crash.

Those who knew him best are remembering Clay as a true Texas boy.

Close friends tell NewsWest 9, he loved country music, dancing and shooting guns.

"He was an excellent cook, mostly what we'd call down home southern cooking," Sr. Captain, Kevin Jackson, said.

Clay gave six and a half years of service with the Fire Department and we're told he was devoted to helping others.

"Every moment that he spent here he gave his whole heart and soul to this job," Boyd said.

"It seemed like the more pressure Chris was under, the better he strived, the better he achieved," Jackson said. "Good things come in small packages."

But Jackson and Boyd said although Clay may have been a small, quiet guy, he was also a jokester around the station.

"He was kind of one of those stealth quiet guys. He certainly liked to play some practical jokes on you," Boyd said.

"He owned a wrestling mask and he was not above putting it on and sneaking up behind somebody and attacking them," Jackson added.

His buddies said they'll miss Clay's laughter and how he made the station feel more like home.

He leaves behind his father, sister, grandfather and two kids.

"He was incredibly hardworking, a hardworking man," Jackson said. "Chris will be missed."