GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - An officer with the Dallas Police Department who was killed in a crash Thursday morning has been identified as 46-year-old Corporal Travis Wells.
The wreck happened before 11 a.m. on Dallas-Bessemer City Highway, according to highway patrol, completely closing the road.
Troopers say Cpl. Wells was on-duty at the time of the crash but was not responding to a call. He ran off the road and struck a tree, troopers say.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
Wells, who is survived by his spouse, has been with the Dallas Police Department for 22 years.
“One of his [Travis’] favorite pass times was being a D.J. Travis was a very loving and caring person; he had the biggest heart and would do anything for you,” Wells' obituary reads.
“He enjoyed his many trips to the mountains jeep trail riding, camping and the charity runs in Tennessee.”
Gaston County Commissioner Tracy Philbeck tweeted about the officer killed around 11: 15 a.m.
Shortly after the crash, the flag outside the Dallas Police Department was lowered to half staff in honor of the officer killed.
Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger spoke about Wells in an interview Thursday night. The sheriff said he has known Wells for more than two decades.
“Travis, I’ve known him ever since he was a Dallas police officer. He’s been there over 20 years, very hardworking, very conscientious law enforcement officer,” described Cloninger.
Law enforcement officers from across the county were spotted in front of the Dallas Police Department Thursday night. Cloninger said his deputies will be wearing black stripes across their badges in honor of Wells.
“We know we have to depend on each other to serve the public. Working together is what’s important,” explained Cloninger.
The sheriff said he considers Wells a friend and called the officer’s death a ‘loss for the whole community’.
“My fondest memories is his smile, but also just how conscientious he was. He always wanted to do a good job and he wanted to always serve the public well,” said Cloninger.