Driver charged

The driver of a vehicle in a wrong-way crash that claimed the life of a state appeals court judge from Rockwall has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and also with the alleged possession of LSD and marijuana.

The driver of a vehicle in a wrong-way crash that claimed the life of a state appeals court judge from Rockwall has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and also with the alleged possession of LSD and marijuana.

Meanwhile, services are planned to remember Fifth District Court of Appeals Justice David Bridges, who was killed in the three-vehicle crash on Interstate 30 on the night of July 25.

Megan E. Smith, 32, was believed to have been intoxicated when she drove the wrong way and caused the wreck in Royse City.

Smith remained in custody in the Hunt County Detention Center as of press time Wednesday, being held in lieu $150,000 bond as on the charge, a second-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

Smith was also being held on two additional charges filed by the Royse City Police Department; one count of possession of a controlled substance Penalty Group 1A, in an amount of less than 20 actual units, with a $10,000 bond, and one count of possession of marijuana less than two ounces, which carried a $750 bond.

Penalty Group 1-A includes LSD as well as any of its salts, isomers and salts of isomers.

Smith had filed a writ of habeas corpus Tuesday with the 196th District Court in seeking the appointment of a defense counsel and/or a reduction in bond on the manslaughter and possession of controlled substance charges. A date for a hearing on the writ had not been scheduled as of press time Wednesday.

A statement from the Royse City Police Department indicated the wreck occurred at around 9:30 p.m. July 25 on westbound Interstate 30 near FM 2642. Smith was reported to be driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of the interstate and struck two vehicles, one of which was driven by Bridges. Bridges’ vehicle caught fire and he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the second vehicle was uninjured.

Smith was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

A night of remembrance is scheduled at 6 p.m. today, Friday, at Rest Haven Funeral Home in Rockwall. A memorial service is planned at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Rockwall. Bridges was scheduled to be buried Thursday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin in a private ceremony.

According to information from the Fifth District Court of Appeals, Bridges was elected to the court in 1996. He was born in Fort Worth in 1955 and served in the United States Army in 1973 and 1974. He worked at the General Electric Plant to put himself through school at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler. After graduation, he worked as a Petroleum Landman along the Appalachian Mountain range and left his job as crew chief to attend Texas Tech School of Law.

After graduating from law school, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Smith County and as the Assistant District Attorney in Upshur County. He served as Senior Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas and when he left the State Bar, he was First Assistant in charge of litigation for the State Bar of Texas.

He had been Board Certified in Criminal Law since 1989 and Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law since 2011.

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