The Tacna Volunteer Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its firefighters who was killed Friday evening in an off-duty accident when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck.
Chief Joe Rivera said he couldn't have asked for a better volunteer than Austin Fred Vaughan, who joined the fire department in May 2012, on his 18th birthday.
“He was always there when the department needed him, no matter when it was or what it was for,” Rivera said. “He will definitely be missed, not just by us, but by the entire community. He was a vibrant young man.”
Rivera said Vaughan got involved with the fire department while he was a senior in high school, but couldn't actually join until he turned 18.
Vaughan was also a student at Arizona Western College, but Rivera did not know what he was studying.
Rivera described Vaughan as someone who deeply loved his community and was always willing to do anything he could to help anyone in need.
Vaughan was killed at approximately 5:32 p.m. when his motorcycle collided with a white 2011 Ford F-250, three-quarter-ton pickup being driven by 64-year-old Luis Zacarias Lopez, also of Wellton. The accident happened at the intersection of County 3rd Street and Avenue 40E.
The cause of the collision is still under investigation; however, alcohol does not appear to be a factor.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.