Link Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Eric Hanson was drawn to the work of first responders like the firefighters and other rescue workers who rushed to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and learned of a national shortage of paramedics. The University of Texas student had been studying engineering and biology, but he decided to enroll in the paramedic program at Austin Community College, where fellow students and teachers said they quickly saw how much he loved helping others. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers investigated the scene of an early morning wreck Tuesday that left two men dead and put one woman in the hospital. Authorities say a Spicewood man lost control of his truck and struck an ambulance on Texas 71. Hanson, 26, who had been working for the Marble Falls Area Emergency Medical Services for a little more than a year, was killed early Tuesday as he was returning from a run to Austin, when the 2001 Chevrolet ambulance he was driving collided with a Ford pickup that investigators say lost control in a curve on Texas 71 just west of Bee Creek. The accident also killed the driver of the pickup, Troy McVey, 36, of Spicewood. McVey's family declined to comment Tuesday. Hanson's fellow paramedic, 29-year-old Kyla Wilson of Austin, who attended ACC with him, was listed in serious condition Tuesday night at Brackenridge Hospital. "The entire EMS and public safety community and especially the citizens of Marble Falls and the Highland Lakes area have suffered a great loss," Johnny Campbell of the Marble Falls Area EMS said in a statement. Throughout the afternoon, residents delivered food and flowers to EMS headquarters, while dozens of paramedics from across the region gathered at Brackenridge Hospital to support their Marble Falls colleagues and Wilson's family. Other EMS agencies, including Austin's, offered to lend paramedics to Marble Falls for the next several days to relieve grieving colleagues. Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said the highway was wet when the accident happened at 5:30 a.m., but investigators have not determined if the weather contributed to the collision. EMS officials said Wilson and Hanson had taken a patient to Austin Heart Hospital and were returning to Marble Falls. Vinger said the ambulance was traveling west on Texas 71 and that the truck, which was headed east, veered into the westbound lanes. Hanson, McVey and Wilson were wearing seat belts, he said. Hanson's parents, Harlin and Rita Hanson, said that as a child, their son befriended students in his class who were bullied or picked on by others. At LBJ High School, they said, Hanson excelled in writing and played the saxophone. He opened his 1998 graduation ceremony with a solo. At ACC, "he really just blossomed," said Kyle Pierce, the chair of ACC's emergency medical services professions department. "His attitude and enthusiasm just grew, and his interest in the profession and being able to affect other people's lives in a positive way took off." Hanson's ACC teachers had suggested he apply for work in Marble Falls after he graduated in July, the Hansons said. They said their son thought he could get more experience in a smaller agency. "He was like a sponge," Rita Hanson said. "He just wanted to learn it all." Most recently, Eric Hanson had been working to design a brochure about the agency's efforts to get more people to use child safety seats. He also had talked about moving to Marble Falls in coming months and making it his home. "We had a philosophy that every day is a gift," Rita Hanson said. "He enjoyed every day."