David Bridges Texas 5th Court Of Appeals Justice killed by suspected drunk driver Megan Smith of Royse City In wrong-way crash along Interstate 30.
Megan Elizabeth Smith, 32, was charged with intoxication manslaughter following the fatal collision which took place in the northern Texas town of Royse City at around 9:30pm, Saturday night.
Smith, a resident of Royse City, was driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of Interstate 30, when she struck two vehicles driving from the opposite direction NBCDFW reports.
Justice David L. Bridges, 65, of of Rockwall, a longtime judge who had served on the bench of the Texas 5th Court of Appeals, was in one of the vehicles that was struck by Smith’s car, according to authorities.
Bridges’ car then burst into flames. The judge was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the second vehicle was not injured.
Victim was highly respected judge
Smith was rushed to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries. She was booked into Hunt County Jail upon being released from hospital.
Rodney Anderson, chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party, said Bridges served the nation his entire life.
‘His life was an example that we should all strive to follow,’ Anderson said. ‘Justice Bridges was tragically taken from us, from his family, by the careless actions of a drunk driver. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time. His passing is a loss to our country and to the citizens of Dallas.’
Bridges was elected to a judgeship in the 5th District Court of Appeals in 1996, according to his biography.
Bridges served in the United States Army in 1973 and 1974. After his military service, he worked at the General Electric plant to put himself through Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler.
After a stint working as a petroleum landman along the Appalachian Mountain range, Bridges attended the Texas Tech School of Law.
After graduating law school, Bridges served as assistant district attorney in Smith and Upshur Counties.
He was also a senior disciplinary counsel and first assistant in charge of litigation for the State Bar of Texas. Bridges served on the Fifth District Court of Appeals since 1996.
No bail amount was listed for Smith in online jail records Sunday afternoon. A regard of public records reveals the woman having a series of prior arrests beginning in 2009.