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Dallas police officer dies after being struck by suspected drunk driver at existing crash scene

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Posted at 10:52 AM, Feb 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-13 14:34:30-05

DALLAS, TX — A Dallas Police officer has died after being hit by a suspected drunk driver at an existing crash scene early Saturday morning, police said.

The officer has been identified as Mitchell Penton.

According to police, Penton was securing the scene of a previous accident on N. Central Expressway at Walnut Hill Lane around 1:45AM when the driver of a black Kia Forte struck the back of Officer Penton’s squad car.

The impact caused the police vehicle to strike Officer Penton.

"His emergency lights were on and it was reported by witnesses that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed," Dallas Police said.

The suspect driver, 32-year-old male, was found to be intoxicated.

He was arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter on a Police Officer (Felony 1) and Intoxication Assault, for the passenger that was in his vehicle.

The suspect was seen by medical staff and released.

A female passenger was taken to an area hospital for trauma to her chest area and a laceration on her face.

The officer was transported to Baylor Hospital where he died of his injuries.

Dallas PD Chief Eddie Garcia shared a video of fellow first responders lined up outside Baylor Medical Center paying their respects to the officer saying "Rest easy hero. We'll take it from here."

Officer Trainee Penton joined the department on February 6, 2019, and was assigned to the Northeast Patrol Division.

“Our hearts are heavy right now. This young officer had such a bright future ahead of him. We asked that the community join us as we pray for the officer’s family. We would also like to extend that prayer to the brave men and women of this great department.” said Chief Eddie Garcia.

Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement:

“Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of the Dallas Police Department officer who was killed in the line of duty this morning," said Governor Abbott. "This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while serving and protecting our communities. Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in lifting up the officer's family and the entire Dallas Police Department in prayer during this difficult time."