1 dead after head-on collision

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, May 12, 2018
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Fatal Crash

FATAL CRASH – Former Decatur office Richard Hale was killed Wednesday afternoon when his Chevrolet Impala collided with a tractor-trailer on Farm Road 51. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Former Decatur police officer Richard Hale was killed Wednesday afternoon in a wreck on Farm Road 51 north of Decatur.

Hale’s Chevrolet Impala collided with a tractor-trailer around 1:30 p.m. The 46-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

James Pollard, 55, of Chico, was the driver of the tractor-trailer. He was not injured.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Lonny Haschel said the preliminary investigation indicates Hale was traveling north on FM 51 when, for an undetermined reason, crossed the center lane of traffic and collided with Pollard.

“I thought I was going to end up dying,” Pollard said. “All of a sudden that [car] cut right into me.”

Cody Morrison was traveling behind Pollard and witnessed the crash.

“[Pollard] was on his side of the road doing exactly what he was supposed to,” Morrison said. “Everything was good and then all of a sudden that white car shot across. I don’t know [what happened]. Stuff went everywhere.”

DPS troopers shut down FM 51 in both directions following the wreck.

Haschel said the tractor-trailer was not carrying any hazardous materials and that the investigation is ongoing.

Hale was a deputy inspector general for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. He previously spent nine years with the Decatur Police Department.

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