An off-duty Dallas police officer remains hospitalized Monday after he was involved in a crash while racing Sunday near White Rock Lake, police say. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The officer has been identified as Joseph George and is a four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department.
The crash occurred about 1:38 p.m. in the 7200 block of East Mockingbird Lane, near Hillgreen Drive.
Police said the officer was driving a black Ford Mustang, while they believed the other car involved was a white, two-door Suzuki.
At some point during the race, police said the Mustang lost control and slammed into a tree.
Witness Bill Wolec, who was outside at the time, described what he heard.
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“All of a sudden, we heard screeching. And then thud,” Wolec said.
Wolec said that area of Mockingbird Lane is known for speeding and street racing.
“This area can be a speed zone,” he said. “It’s a nice straight lane."
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said Dallas Fire-Rescue treated the officer, who joined the department in November 2015, at the scene and transported him to Baylor University Medical Center.
Doctors continued to monitor the officer Sunday night and Hall said the department was waiting to learn further information about the officer's injuries.
Hall asked for the public's help to identify the Suzuki. Police said the car fled the location and was last seen driving eastbound on Mockingbird.
Anyone with information about the other driver or vehicle involved was asked to contact Det. K. Land at 214-671-0014 or Det. J. Massey at 214-671-0012.
A day after the crash Dallas police returned to the crash site and were seen clocking drivers and pulling them over for speeding.
Shannon Deloney drives that stretch of Mockingbird every day and said he was not surprised street racing may be to blame.
"Somebody probably tempted [the officer] to race. They do that to me all the time," said Deloney. "They pull up beside me, rev their engines and try to see if you want to race."
Deloney said he'd like to see more officers patrol the area.
Dallas Police Association president Mike Mata knows the officer and said his family and colleagues are in need of support.
"They're devastated," said Mata. "He's a great officer, a good human being, a young man just starting out his career."
Mata said street racing has been a problem across the city and hopes others will learn from what happened.
"In life we all make bad choices and I think this is one thing we can all learn from," said Mata.