Some ranchers care for their animals so much that they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.
As wildfires roared through the Texas Panhandle Monday night, Sydney Wallace and Cody Crockett gave their lives trying to save cattle from a deadly blaze near McLean. They, along with Sloan Everett, were working as ranch hands on a Gray County operation. None of them survived.
County Judge Richard Peet told the Dallas News that one of the three died of smoke inhalation; the other two were badly burned and died as they were being taken to hospitals.
Brennan Leggett, a regional Republican official, made a heart-rending post on Facebook in the wake of the deaths. He spoke emotionally about the losses of these young people.
“I have tremendous respect for the ranching community and the traditions they pass to their future generations,” Leggett said. “Without them we wouldn’t be a rich culture. We lost a part of that last night. While these two are gone here on earth they are now ranching and herding the cattle on a thousand hills for the greatest rancher and cattle baron of all.”
Prayers and thoughts for the families of the victims have been pouring over social media. Red River Outfitters made this eloquent post about Crockett: “We are completely heartbroken over the loss of our favorite cowboy and his princess. Cody and Sydney were trying to save some cattle and got overtaken by the wildfire in McLean. There are no words for how much this amazing young man meant to us. If you have hunted with us, you have most likely met this well mannered cowboy. I can’t imagine not having him drop by for his favorite glass of sweet Georgia tea. We loved this kid so much. Life will not be the same without his big smile and his practical jokes.”
The company separately posted this image:
The news affected many:
Laying in a silent house, but know everybody is laying wide away. Rest In Peace Cody Crockett & Sydney Wallace.
— Magen McLain (@MagenMcLain) March 7, 2017
These aren’t the only deaths in the panhandle wildfires, which have swallowed hundreds of thousands of acres of lands already. Hundreds of homes are being threatened, and prayers and aid are needed.