Tempe firefighter killed by falling tree during stormPosted: Updated:
CAMP VERDE – A Tempe firefighter was killed on a hunting trip when a tree fell on his tent while he slept.
Skylar Stock, 27, of Queen Creek was elk hunting with a friend in the Blue Ridge area when they set up camp about 20 miles east of Camp Verde. The two hunters were asleep in the their tent when high winds during Monday night’s storm caused a 70-foot Ponderosa Pine Tree, 2 feet in diameter, to snap about 20 feet from ground level.
The top portion of the tree fell on the tent and struck Stock on the head, killing him instantly. Stock’s friend, who was not injured, cut his way out of the tent and called 911.
Winds at the time of the accident reached up to 66 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Station located closest to the campsite. Detectives also found evidence of severe ant infestation in the tree at the point where it broke.
Stock worked as a firefighter for the past two years at the station near Elliott and Rural roads in Tempe. Coworkers say it is like losing a family member.
"He was always interested in everybody, very easy to talk to," said Mike Reichling of the Tempe Fire Department. "He was open to sharing what he was doing with his young kids, his wife, and all the things he had planned for his future. It just saddens us deeply to see this happen to such an up-and-coming, wonderful young man."
Friends say he had been planning the camping and hunting trip for some time, and even borrowed some hunting equipment from one of the fire captains.
Stock leaves behind a wife and three children.
The Stock family issued the following statement:
Skylar Wayne Stock, 27, of Queen Creek, died as a result of injuries sustained when a tree blown over by Monday's storm fell across the tent he was sleeping in. Skylar was a selfless individual who would help anyone in need at any time. His career choice as a firefighter suited well this instinct of selflessness, as he was in his second year with Tempe Fire Department.
Skylar made friends easily. He lived the gospel of Jesus Christ and was raising his three young children to also know and love the Lord.
The family wishes to thank all those who have expressed their condolences and would also like to express deep appreciation to the firefighters on his crew and the others at Tempe Fire for the camaraderie and genuine support shown to them.
An account has been established at Wells Fargo Bank under the name of Stock Family Donation Fund for those wishing to contribute to the family.
On Dec. 17, Chili's restaurants in Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Tempe will donate 10 percent of their profits for that day to the Stock Donation Fund. Just mention that you would like to help the Stock family.