A local police officer killed in the line of duty is being honored with a national tribute.
Waxahachie police officer Josh Williams died Saturday. Investigators say his squad car was T-boned by a suspected drunken driver.
Thursday morning, the United States Honor Flag arrived at DFW Airport from Colorado to help pay tribute to the fallen hero. The flag is now by Williams’ side, where it will remain through his funeral on Friday. Organizers said it’s the ultimate tribute to a 17-year law enforcement veteran who made the ultimate sacrifice.
An American Airlines pilot flew to DFW with the precious cargo in the cockpit. The pilot handed off the flag to awaiting officers in the terminal.
“Typically, when the flag comes, it brings comfort and healing to their family, because they understand the sacrifice isn’t ever going to be forgotten,” said U.S. Honor Flag President and CEO Chris Heisler.
DFW Airport police and Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers accepted the tribute to the fallen officer with heavy hearts.
“It’s one of sadness and hurt to know we’ve lost a brother,” said Lt. Bill Moak with DFW Airport Police.
Williams had been heading to a disturbance call early Saturday morning, when investigators say an SUV collided with his squad car. DPS said driver Dylyn Richards didn’t have his lights on, had been speeding, and drinking before the crash.
Richards is now facing charges for intoxication manslaughter.
Williams died at the hospital, leaving behind a wife and three children.
“They’re not forgotten. They’re still part of our family, even though they’ve lost a loved one. And they’re still in our hearts and prayers, that’s the reason we do this,” said Moak.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the flag has traveled more than 200,000 miles to honor fallen officers, firefighters, and military personnel. Now, the flag is back in Texas. This year, Williams is the 4th officer killed in the line of duty in the state.
“We’ll go directly to the funeral home, and the flag will stay with Josh,” said Heisler.
Williams’ funeral is planned for Friday in Waxahachie. The flag will then move on to honor the country’s next hero killed in the line of duty.