Officer Survives Wrong-Way Crash

By Matt Goodman & Susy Solis,
screen shot 2012 03 18 at 1 03 58 pm Officer Survives Wrong Way Crash

Interstate 20 at Bonnie View Rd. (Credit: Google Maps)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Milton Smith was headed home along I-20 when his car was hit head on by a drunk wrong way driver.

Smith, 62, a police officer with the Dallas County Community College District and a former pastor, was headed home after working off-duty at a Denny’s overnight.

Doctors told his wife, the bullet-proof vest he was wearing, and his seat belt, saved his life.

“I think God had a hand with everything coming together when it happened and how it happened and having him survive,” said Milton Smith’s son, Trey Smith.

Smith was transported to Baylor Hospital with multiple fractures in both legs, two broken ribs and head and neck injuries, and is in critical but stable condition, according to his son.

The suspected drunk driver, Juan Ramon Hernandez, 26, was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes around 6 a.m. near Bonnieview when he struck Smith’s vehicle. Hernandez’s blood alcohol level was .26, three times the legal limit, according to Carmen Castro, spokesperson for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

A passenger in Hernandez’s vehicle died at the scene. His identity is still unknown.

Investigators don’t know where Hernandez was going or where he had been. He is now facing one county of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault.

“He wasn’t very coherent at the time so we are waiting for him to be cooperative. He insisted that he didn’t know the passenger,” Castro said.

Smith’s vehicle was almost unrecognizable and smashed in. Trey Smith said it was the grace of God that saved his father.

“He’s got a fight ahead of him so we’ll help him get through that,” Smith said.

Smith prays people will stop driving drunk.

“I think it’s sad that there’s been such an attempt at letting people know the danger of drinking and driving yet we still have these problems,” he said.

The Smith family and close friends are hopeful Milton Smith will make a full recovery.

Hernandez was arrested in 2008 for possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.


  • TheNiteNurse

    Since we waste a lot of government money on stupid stuff why not have a huge education compaign on educating the Latino community of the dangers of drinking and driving.

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  • altha

    If there were any type of schools, or anything to educate Mexicans on drunk driving it will be a wast of money. When Friday night come it’s on even though they can’t hold their liquor. Get’s in their nice car or truck and just drive can’t speak english nor read it now what do you have?

  • Aaron

    Did any of you good christian intelligent people bother to check the national drunk driving stats to insure that the drivel you post, accurately reflects the race or ethnicity of the people/community you slander?

  • Sue Smith

    After 6 days my husband is still in ICU and I have gotten alot of different info on Mr. Hernandez. I’ve been told he has no drivers license, or green card or insurance. How dare you comment on the slandurance comments made. If he had been in Mexico where he belongs perhaps my husband would not be fighting for his life. Who is supposed to pay the medical bills that are going to come in our mailbox, who is going to pay for lost wages, who is going to pay for the rehab, who is going to pay for the home healthcare he is going to need? How dare you. How dare his wife give him the keys to her Tahoe and let him drive. Perhaps if it had been his wife or child in the passanger seat he would have some remorse for his actions. This man is a drunk and a druggie how would you feel if it was your wife in ICU or your wife he killed you would be singing a much different song I gaurentee it. HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!

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