On Tuesday October 20, 1998, at 7:00 p.m., Senior Patrol Agents Thomas J. Williams and Jesus De La Ossa were traveling to San Diego after successfully completing the Border Patrol Academy Instructor's Course. They were involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle and lost their lives in the accident. The accident happened about 15 miles west of Artesia, New Mexico.
Agent Williams was born in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. He graduated from Western Illinois University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in criminal justice. He served in the Navy for four years, two of which were served on the submarine USS Henry Clay. At the time of his death, his official station was Brown Field, California. He was a graduate of the 266th session of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Glynco, Georgia.