It has been nearly two years since 28-year-old Dallas Police Officer Mitchell Penton’s watch ended.
Penton’s mother, Kathy Penton, has watched the holidays and celebrations come and go, weighed down by the absence of her son.
On February 13, 2021, Officer Penton was struck and killed by an apparent drunk driver while directing traffic after a car wreck on U.S. 75 near Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.
“You keep waiting and looking at the door, and you realize that he’s not coming back through that door,” Penton told NBC 5.
The feeling of déjà vu became all too real for Penton as Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia announced that another officer had been hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver while on his way to work.
As reported in The Dallas Express, Officer Jacob Arellano, 25, was off duty traveling to work for the start of his shift on October 11, 2022, when the accident occurred at approximately 11:48 p.m.
Officer Arellano was driving in the middle of the three lanes when a wrong-way driver, driving southbound in the northbound lanes, struck the front left portion of Arellano’s vehicle.
The crash caused Arellano’s vehicle to veer into the right lane, where it was hit by a tractor-trailer. Arellano’s vehicle rolled several times.
Officers conducted an investigation and concluded the wrong-way driver, identified as Mayra Rebollar, 31, was apparently intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Rebollar was transported to a nearby hospital in serious condition and was charged with intoxication manslaughter, but has not yet been arraigned on the charge.
In 2021, Dallas recorded 1,065 DUI-related crashes, 53 of which were fatal, resulting in 64 deaths, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
In September, The Dallas Express reported a suspected drunk driver allegedly caused a crash, killing a 13-year-old passenger and injuring two others in the victim’s vehicle.
Officer Arellano had been a member of the Dallas Police Department since June 2019. He was assigned to the Northwest Patrol Division, 1st watch.
Arellano is survived by his parents, girlfriend, infant child, and brother, who is also a Dallas police officer.
It is ashame that this has to happen over and over. As much as I can’t stand big brother I am about ready to have breathalyzer put in cars
Mitchell was one of my soccer players and students at RHS. He was a fine young man and I remember him well, his friendly disposition and his great attitude toward life and others. I am praying for his family and looking forward to seeing him one day in heaven.