The Waxahachie Police Department is mourning the loss of
one of their officers. 17-year veteran of the department, Officer Josh
Williams, died early Saturday morning as he responded to a call. Investigators
say he was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver.
Williams was a field training officer who took his job seriously, but always had a playful personality. Those who knew Williams say he wore his badge with pride - he was more than an officer, he was a role model.
"Josh's presence is well known and he's going to be missed," Waxahachie Police Chief Chuck Edge said.
His is the type of death they rarely experience in the Waxahachie Police Department.
doesn't quite register, I don't think," Waxahachie City Manager Paul
Stevens said. "It's been a long time since an officer has lost his
life in the line of duty in Waxahachie and for this to be a tragedy, so
unnecessary - it's such a shock."
Investigators say just before 12:30 Saturday morning, Ofc. Williams was on the 600 block of North Highway 77, when a suspected drunk driver slammed into him. State Troopers say 24-year old Dylyn Richards had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, and was driving without lights, when he hit Williams. Investigators also believe Richards was speeding. Williams was transported to Baylor Medical City in Waxahachie where he later died. Richards was also taken to the hospital, under police custody.
"I just heard a big noise, like someone dropped a dumpster truck," witness James Kim said.
Kim was working at his restaurant across the street when the accident happened.
"They did CPR, but I found out he didn't make it so people are just in shock."
Friends of Williams say his positive energy and passion for the job will be sorely missed. He's remembered for his smile, his endearing personality and amusing pranks.
"Josh really had a servant's heart," Stevens said. "He took his job really seriously. You always hear about protect and serve and he took that very seriously."
Outside the Waxahachie Police Department, condolences in the form of flowers were laid at the doorstep. A difficult loss for a department and a community.
"Those officers who were on his shift, who worked with him - will be impacted significantly, they already have been," Chief Edge said.
Once Richards is released from the hospital, he will be transported to Ellis County Jail and will be formally charged with intoxication manslaughter.
The last time Waxahachie Police Department lost an officer in the line of duty was back in 1999. This is the third DWI related fatality involving a North Texas officer in the past month.
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