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Texas appeals court justice killed in wrong way crash caused by intoxicated driver in Royse City

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Justice David L. Bridges of Texas’ Fifth District Court of Appeals was killed in a crash Saturday night in Royse City.

The three-car crash happened around 9:30 p.m. on westbound Interstate 30 near FM 2642.

Police allege Megan E. Smith, a 32-year-old from Royse City, was driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of the highway when she struck the two other vehicles.

Justice Bridges of Rockwall, was in the vehicle Smith allegedly hit according to police. His vehicle caught fire “as a result of the collision,” and died at the scene. 

The driver of the second vehicle police allege Smith hit was not hurt.

Smith was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries and then was arrested upon her release on a charge of intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, police said. She was booked into the Hunt County jail. 

Police did not provide any additional details about the other drivers or vehicles involved in the crash. 

According to police, the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

A Fort Worth native, Bridges was born in 1955, his bio on the State of Texas Judicial Branch’s website says. 

He attended Texas Tech School of Law and went on to be an assistant district attorney in Smith and Upshur counties before he was elected to the Fifth District Court of Appeals in 1996, according to the bio.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals is based in Dallas and serves Collin, Dallas, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. 

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