Drunk driver kills Texas Court of Appeals Justice, David Bridge

Court of Appeals Justice

Fifth District Court of Appeals Justice David Bridges was killed Saturday night by a drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 30, police in Royse City, Texas, said Sunday.

According to New York Daily report, Megan Smith, 32, of Royse City, was charged with intoxication manslaughter and was scheduled to be booked into the Hunt County Detention Center, the Herald-Banner of Greenville, Texas, reported Sunday.

Rains County Emergency management confirmed the death Sunday and said the crash happened around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Rains County has suffered a devastating loss with the death of Fifth District Court of Appeals Justice David Bridges, who was killed by a drunk driver last night, Rains County Emergency Management said in a statement. “We mourn with his family and friends. Prayers to all who knew and loved him.”

Smith was allegedly driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of the interstate and hit two vehicles, one of them driven by Bridges, according to a police statement obtained by the Herald-Banner.

“Bridges’ vehicle caught fire and he was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the Herald-Banner reported.

The second vehicle’s driver was not injured, and Smith was treated at a hospital for minor injuries, the Herald-Banner said.

Born in Fort Worth in 1955, Bridges served as a district attorney and senior disciplinary counsel for the State Bar of Texas before being elected to the state’s highest appeals court in 1996, according to the Texas Judicial Branch.

He was also a father, reported KTVT-TV.

“David’s a big guy 6′2, 6′4,” Justice David Evans told KTVT. “I don’t think I ever saw him without cowboy boots on. You know that 72 ounce steak out in Amarillo – well David is the only person I know who successfully ate that thing.”

Bridges, a Republican, was running for reelection against Democrat Craig Smith in the Nov. 3 election, according to Ballotpedia.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Justice Bridges’ family during this difficult time,” the Republican Party of Texas tweeted.

The Royse City Police Department Accident Investigation Unit is conducting the investigation.