ROYSE CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – The Royse City Police Department is investigating a wrong-way crash that killed Texas 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Justice David L. Bridges of Rockwall.
Police said three cars were involved, and the woman they arrested, Megan E. Smith is suspected of driving while intoxicated.
The crash happened at 9:30 p.m., on Saturday, July 25, 2020, on westbound Interstate 30 near Farm-to-Market (FM) 2642.
Police said the 32-year-old Smith was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes when she struck two vehicles — one of which was occupied by Bridges. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the second vehicle was not injured and Smith was taken to an area hospital for minor injuries, treated, released, and booked into the Hunt County Jail on a charge for intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle.
Judge Bridges was born in Fort Worth. He was a former district attorney and senior disciplinary counsel for the State Bar of Texas before joining the state’s highest criminal appeals court.
He was also a father.
Bridges served on the Fifth District Court of Appeals since 1996, according to the Texas Judicial Branch.
“David’s a big guy 6’2, 6’4,” Justice David Evans said. “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.”
Justice Evans worked with Justice David Bridges in the Texas 5th District Court of Appeals for many years and loved hearing his stories.
“He was an easy guy to talk to you about everything.. work related things.. case related things,” he said.
This morning, he learned of his passing.
“I was shocked,” he said. “I got a text when I was in church and from the moment I got the text I cannot even hear a word from the rest of what my pastor said.”
“What’s so sad is it’s completely avoidable,” Dallas County Republican Party Chair Rodney Anderson said.
Anderson stays in close contact with all the republican elected officials. Justice Bridges was running for re-election. They just spoke last week.
“Just a good guy, all around good guy and we would see him at our executive committee meetings periodically and he would say hey.. show up and say hey,” Anderson said.
He was approaching his 25th year with the 5th District Court of Appeals.
“He was the longest serving justice on the court,” Justice Evans said.
He also served in the U.S. Army and was an assistant district attorney in two east Texas counties.
“He was a good guy to work with,” Justice Evans said. “Wrote his cases, knew his stuff. We could talk about the cases, he had reasons for why he thought the ruling should be. He was a great guy to work with and we’re going to miss him very, very much.”
Justice Bridges was a dedicated husband and loving father to two daughters.