WAXAHACHIE — A Waxahachie police officer was killed in a crash early Saturday morning involving another vehicle driven by a man who was allegedly drunk
Officer Josh Williams was responding to a disturbance at a fast food restaurant in the 600 block of Highway 77 around 1:30 a.m. As he was turning into the parking lot, a Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle traveling northbound struck his patrol car on the passenger's side, police said.
Williams, 44, was rushed to Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators said the Suburban did not have its lights on. Its driver, identified as 24-year-old Dylyn Richards, was taken by helicopter to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas for treatment of injuries.
Investigators said Richards is expected to be charged with intoxication manslaughter, a first degree felony in this case because it involves the death of a police officer.
Richards was under police guard at Parkland until he can be released and formally charged.
News 8 has learned that Richards may have been convicted in 2009 for another DWI case.
Waxahachie police Chief Chuck Edge said Officer Williams' death is a tremendous loss for the department.
"He's been with the force for 17 years. Good officer. Very friendly. Very well respected among the officers," Edge said.
Officer Williams is survived by his wife and three children.
Flowers and candles now mark the spot where he died. Dallas police Officer Brandon Stevens felt the need to bring his young daughter to the spot.
"I just want her to know what I do, and to learn respect," he said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the accident.
The Waxahachie Police Department is small, so many people in this Ellis County community knew Officer Williams.
"Josh really did have a servant's heart," said City Manager Paul Stevens. "The motto 'To protect and serve' — he really lived by that."
His friends say Officer Williams was a practical joker who was always smiling. They are saddened he died like this.
"I think so many people drink and get behind the wheel and don't really think about it," Stevens said. "I think this brings it home for everybody."
Josh Williams is the fourth North Texas public safety official to be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident this month.
A Watauga police officer is recovering in the hospital after he was involved in a crash Thursday night at Old Denton Highway and Main Street in Haltom City.
Early Sunday morning, Everman volunteer firefighter Sergio Rodriguez was struck and killed as he was walking along Highway 287 in Fort Worth.
And off-duty Lancaster police Officer Dustin Dodson was fatally injured one week ago when a suspected drunk driver crashed into his motorcycle on Highway 67 near Venus.