LEVELLAND, Texas — A Levelland Animal Control officer died and another was critically injured in a crash Thursday afternoon on US Highway 385, just a mile north of Levelland, according to the City of Levelland.
The two officers — identified as Crystal Goforth and Jon Corder — responded to a call and were involved in a crash, according to the city. The Texas Department of Public Safety said the crash was first reported at 10:05 a.m.
Goforth and Corder were parked facing north on US 385, when a pickup truck drifted right onto the shoulder and struck them from behind.
Goforth, 38, died on the scene. She was married to a fellow city employee and had a 15-year-old son, the city said. She had worked in the Animal Control division since 2019.
Corder, 41, was taken to University Medical Center and was in the Intensive Care Unit, according to Levelland. He joined Animal Control in March 2021.
“We lost a kind, hardworking, animal loving member of our family,” Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia said. “This loss leaves a void in our team and in our hearts.”
Garcia said the loss has left the Animal Control and Animal 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,” Garcia said.
Read the full release from the City of Levelland below:
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.”
For more information, contact Albert Garcia, Chief of Police, City of Levelland, at 806-894-0113.