DENTON, Texas - A Denton County corrections officer was critically hurt Sunday after being hit by a suspected drunken driver.
The sheriff’s department said Officer Jim Terry was on his motorcycle and on his way to work at the Denton County jail when the crash happened around 2 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Mockingbird and McKinney in Denton.
“I hear a loud crash, I look out and it's a motorcycle,” said witness Brittany Dudley. “I thought he was dead right then and there, because he was not moving at all.”
The driver who hit him, 42-year-old Oscar Salmeron, was reportedly intoxicated. He hit another vehicle, ran a red light and kept going after hitting the officer. Witnesses chased him down to stop him.
Salmeron was charged for intoxication assault, accident involving damage to a vehicle, striking an unattended vehicle and striking a highway landscape feature. He’s also being held for immigration officials.
The crash ejected Officer Terry from his bike. He was hospitalized in critical condition. He had one surgery and is expected to have surgery again on Wednesday and Thursday.
Family members told FOX 4 he has a broken jaw, facial fractures, broken arms and legs and a broken pelvis. He also tore an artery in his leg. The wreck happened right in front of a fire station on McKinney Street, allowing first responders to arrive immediately.
“We were sitting at the station and we heard the accident right here at the intersection. Some pedestrians came over and told us what happened,” said Denton fireman Collin Skipper. “We had to work pretty fast. We were trying to get him loaded up as fast as we could.”
He did not suffer injuries to any of his major organs, but will need countless hours of therapy and rehabilitation.
Terry has been with the sheriff’s department for about two years. He has been a National Guard Member for more than 30 years and is a father of four.
Terry's family has a message for anyone who chooses to drink and drive.
“Everything you do impacts other people,” said Terry’s wife, Monica. “These are real people and they have real pain.”
A GoFundMe page for Terry has been set up.