Hero Down: Jacksonville SO Court Bailiff Cathy Adams Killed By Drunk Driver
Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) Court Bailiff Officer Cathy Adams died on Dec. 9, after an alleged drunk driver slammed into her vehicle as she and her family were traveling home from a high school football championship.
Bailiff Adams’ husband, JSO Officer William “Jack” Adams, was also critically injured during the collision, and remains hospitalized, WJAX reported.
The couple’s teen children, who are 14 years old and 16 years old, received minor injuries, according to WLTV.
“We are heartbroken to say that one of our #JSO employees, Cathy Adams has passed away within the last hour from injuries sustained in the traffic crash earlier this morning,” the sheriff’s office said in a Twitter post on Sunday night.
“If you are inclined to do so, please say a prayer for the Adams family,” the agency wrote.
The tragic collision occurred on I-95 in St. Johns County at approximately 1:15 a.m., as the family was traveling home from the high school state championship football game in Orlando, WLTV reported.
The family was northbound in their Chevrolet Tahoe, when 46-year-old Kim Johnston, who was allegedly intoxicated, slammed into their vehicle and caused it to swerve and rollover, according to WJAX.
Bailiff Adams, 43, was ejected during the violent collision, and Officer Adams, 50, became trapped in the wreckage, WLTV reported.
His neck was also broken during the crash.
Johnston, who has been charged with two counts of DUI and serious bodily injury to another, was uninjured, WJAX reported.
The charges against her are expected to be amended, the Florida Highway Patrol told the news outlet.
Bailiff Adams, who was an organ donor, was placed on life support so recipients could be located, WJXX reported. She passed away at approximately 9 p.m.
“JO Cathy Adams, Ofc. Jack Adams & their two children deserved better than this,” the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 5-30 wrote in a Twitter post. “They gave everything to this community and a drunk driver extinguished a beautiful light in their lives.”
“Don’t drink and drive. Period,” the FOP wrote.
Congressman John Rutherford said the “entire community” was mourning the loss of Bailiff Adams, whose “life [was] taken too soon.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Court Bailiff Officer Cathy Adams, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.