District Court Judge Martha Trudo underwent surgery Monday afternoon after being injured Friday night in a car crash.
Trudo, elected judge of the 264th District Court in Belton, sustained broken bones in her legs, a broken rib and fractured spine after her car was hit head-on while travelling on Farm-to-Market 2410 Friday.
Trudo said Monday that she will likely remain in Scott & White Hospital until next week.
Texas Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Harpin Myers said a Temple police officer in a marked patrol car collided with Trudo’s car at about 6 p.m. Friday while on his way to work.
The officer had driven off the road, overcorrected and hit Trudo’s car head-on near the intersection of FM 2410 and Simmons Road just west of Belton.
Proceedings in Trudo’s court have been divided temporarily among the other district court judges at the Bell County Justice Center. Her docket consists largely of criminal work and some family law.
Trudo has served as 264th District judge since 1995.
Judge Rick Morris of the 164th District Court said the four remaining judges will work together to keep Trudo’s docket moving forward. Judge Fancy Jezek of the 426th District has taken up much of Trudo’s criminal docket, Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said.
“The judges will work it out the best they can to keep things moving,” Bledsoe said.
That included moving a jury trial Monday morning to a different court. If no judge is available to take up her cases, the county will bring in a visiting district court judge, Morris said.
“We can get it done and will get it done,” Morris said. “Her docket, like everyone else’s, is very heavy.”
The last time the courts were missing a judge for an extended amount of time was in 2006. Judge Jim Carroll was thrown from a horse and suffered a spinal cord injury that required an extended amount of time for recovery.
FME reporter Deborah McKeon contributed to this report.