Four people, including a Wise County justice of the peace, were killed Saturday evening in a crash caused by a wrong-way driver on U.S. 287 south of Decatur, authorities said.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Terri L. Johnson was the driver who caused the crash, said Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Haschel did not know her age.
At 5:55 p.m., a Volkswagen Passat was being driven south in the northbound lanes near County Road 4228 when it collided head-on with a Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Haschel said. Johnson was driving the Passat, he said.
Rescuers from Wise County EMS and the Decatur Fire Department responded to the accident. Johnson died at the scene, Haschel said. Three passengers in the TrailBlazer also died at the scene, and a 4-year-old was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth by CareFlite with what were described as serious injuries.
Decatur is 41 miles northwest of Fort Worth.
Northbound U.S. 287 from Farm Road 407 remained shut down more than four hours after the accident, Haschel said.
Johnson’s accomplishments as justice of the peace included winning approval in early 2009 to use ankle monitors to keep track of truant students.
“I’m not looking to convict students but to help them,” Johnson, who presided over Precinct 2 in Decatur, told the Star-Telegram in March 2009. “We want to help them go to school, and 30 days can do a lot to change up their behavior.”
Johnson has served Precinct 2 since 2007 and was unopposed in the most recent election. According to her re-election website, she and her husband have two sons.
In a letter to voters on the site, she pledged to “be innovative, efficient, and the hardest working Judge in the County.”
“I look forward to continuing my work with juveniles (the leaders of tomorrow),” she wrote. “My re-election can offer these young adults a firsthand opportunity to correct mistakes, while positively impacting their lives.”
Staff writer Patrick M. Walker contributed to this report, which includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.