VENUS – At 6:48 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2012, Lancaster Police Officer Dustin Dodson was involved in an off-duty traffic accident while traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 67 in Johnson County.
Dodson, 25, was transported by air ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where he later died at around 10:57 p.m.
Dodson, who was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 67 on his motorcycle, was struck by the suspect’s vehicle as it entered the intersection at Farm-to-Market Road 2738, said Venus Police Sgt. John Crane.
“Ricardo Espinoza, 22, didn’t stop at the scene after he allegedly hit Dodson, but was stopped about a mile and a half from there,” Crane said. “Espinoza was arrested on several charges, which included three other outstanding warrants. This situation was very frustrating because the alleged suspect was intoxicated. Dodson was wearing his helmet, but he still suffered serious injuries. The case will also more than likely involve intoxication manslaughter.”
Espinoza was arrested and charged with failure to stop and render aid with an accident involving SBI (Serious Bodily Injury/Death). Bond was set at $150,000. He was also cited with driving while intoxicated, which had a $50,000 bond. The other warrants included one out of Alvarado, for possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces that carried a $500 bond. Two additional warrants out of Fort Worth for a speeding ticket and one for driving without a driver’s license were also outstanding.
Officer Dodson had been with the Lancaster Police Department since March 2010. He was on his way home when the collision occurred, Lancaster Police Department Press Officer Lt. Kelly Hooten confirmed.
“He was married to his wife, Courtney, and had three small children,” Hooten said. “I was talking with his supervisor this morning, and he reiterated that Dodson loved what he did. He was on the night shift patrol.”
Visitation services for Dodson will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, at Rosser Funeral Home located at 1664 West Henderson Street, Cleburne, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 26, at First Baptist Church located at 414 N. Main St. in Cleburne.
A trust fund has been established at Chase Bank, and donations can be made to the Officer Dustin Dodson Trust Account at any local branch. The Lancaster branch is located at 1522 Pleasant Run Road.
The Venus Police Department is investigating the traffic accident. The DPS assisted in directing traffic at the scene. Espinoza remains in the Johnson County Jail.
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