Loss of firefighter brothers leaves Maxwell community grieving￼
By Kyle Mooty
Grief laid its head in Maxwell last week as two young firefighter brothers with the community’s Volunteer Fire Department lost their lives in an accident in Lockhart as they were returning from helping put out a wildfire in Caldwell County.
Jonathon Taylor Coco, 25, was in his sixth year with the Maxwell Community VFD and had earned the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. His brother, Hunter Aaron Paul Coco, 21, had started working at the Maxwell VFD in late 2020.
Hunter was to be married to his childhood sweetheart, Alyssa, the very next day. They had planned on getting married that Monday, but most offices were closed due in observance of Juneteenth. His love for Alyssa and his one-year-old daughter, Paisley, was said to be special among those close to them.
Jonathon had recruited his younger brother to join the Maxwell VFD.
On Monday, June 20, seven members of the Maxwell VFD responded to a wildfire near Lockhart. After stopping that fire, another call came in requesting a water truck. At about 1:48 p.m., the Cocos were returning to Maxwell in a brush truck, come through Lockhart on State Park Road (FM 20). A driver of a car turning onto State Park Road off San Jacinto Street pulled out in front of the truck. The female driver sustained only minor injuries, but the brothers were ejected from their truck as it rolled over.
Samantha Lucas, Public Information Officer and a fellow firefighter for the Maxwell VFD, was at home preparing for family to arrive from out of town as they planned to go on a float trip. She received a call from another assistant fire chief’s wife saying she had heard about an accident involving their department.
Lucas, as did others, went to the scene. Medical personnel were working on one of the brothers, but all on scene soon learned the Cocos had perished.
“They were taking my preferred route too,” Lucas said of the excursion around downtown Lockhart.
The Cocos were the only riders on board the brush truck.
Maxwell VFD had three members arrive at the scene.
“We stayed on scene until they were removed the bodies and they were taken to the funeral home out of respect.,” Lucas said. “We all went back to the fire department, and everyone was debriefed. It’s tough on people, but we have a lot going on in our district right now.”
Louisiana natives, the Cocos were raised in San Marcos. They have four surviving siblings.
(Read the obituaries for both on Page 5A).
Drought conditions have caused daily grass fires in Caldwell County and fire departments have been extremely busy.
“People are covering for us, including Martindale and Travis County,” Lucas said. “Travis County sent a whole team that has come in and out at different times. Originally, they said it would be for seven days, but it can be extended they said if we need it to.”