Levelland animal control officer killed in major crash on Hwy. 385

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:23 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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LEVELLAND, Texas (KCBD) - The city of Levelland is mourning the loss of an animal control officer killed in a major crash on Thursday.

The crash happened on Hwy. 385 between Alaska and Brazil Road on Thursday morning.

Animal Control Officer Crystal Goforth died at the scene. Her partner, Jon Corder, remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

DPS says Goforth was parked facing north on the northbound improved shoulder of US 385 in a 2016 Ford F150.

The other driver was traveling north in the northbound lane in a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD pickup approaching the rear of the F150 when they drifted right onto the improved shoulder. The front portion of the Silverado collided with the rear of Goforth’s vehicle.

The City of Levelland released this statement on Thursday afternoon:

City of Levelland Animal Control officers were involved in a vehicle accident Thursday, during which one officer lost her life and the other is in critical condition in a Lubbock hospital.

Crystal Goforth, 38, and partner Jon Corder, 41, were on a call for service that took them north of Levelland on Highway 385. During that call, the officers were involved in an automobile accident that claimed the life of Goforth and injured Corder.

“We lost Crystal at the scene today,” said Police Chief Albert Garcia. “We lost a kind, hardworking, animal loving member of our family. This loss leaves a void in our team and in our hearts.”

Goforth has worked in the Animal Control division since 2019. She is married to City of Levelland Wastewater Superintendent, Joshua Goforth. They have a 15-year-old son.

“Crystal was a blessing every day. I have been blessed with the best team in the world,” said Captain Tammie McDonald, who regularly finds opportunities to brag on her Animal Control and Animal Shelter staff.

The second officer, Jon Corder, was transported from the scene via AeroCare to a Lubbock hospital where he is currently in the intensive care unit. Officials haven’t released the status of his injuries.

“We have members of our department standing by at the hospital with Jon’s family, ready to help in any way,” said Garcia. “We could use some prayer warriors right now.”

Corder has worked in Animal Control since March 2021, and, along with Goforth, has been instrumental in increasing visibility and marketability of our shelter animals.

“This isn’t an easy job, but he’s got a heart for this type of work,” said McDonald.

The events of today have left the Animal Control and Shelter staff shorthanded.

“Due to today’s tragic loss and injury, the City of Levelland isn’t able to answer animal control calls for service. We ask for the public’s patience at this time,” said Garcia.

“This is a dark day for our City of Levelland family,” said Brandon Anderson. “We humbly ask for prayers for the Goforth and Corder families as well as our City family.”