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Metro Officer Killed On I-65 While Assisting TDOT Truck

Metro Officer Killed On I-65 While Assisting TDOT Truck

CREATED May 11, 2014
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – An officer for the Metro Nashville Police Department was killed Saturday morning, in a collision on Interstate 65 in Brentwood. 

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said 25-year-old Michael Petrina was struck and killed by a motorhome, while assisting a TDOT HELP truck direct traffic around a previous wreck.

The incident was reported just before 10 a.m. 

The driver of the motorhome, 71-year-old Dean Diver of Key Largo, Florida, told police he was unable to merge into the other lanes of traffic and subsequently hit Petrina. The TDOT worker was not injured in the collision. 

Northbound lanes of the interstate were shut down for nearly six hours as a result of the wreck. 

After leaving the scene, Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson met with other officers of the South Precinct to inform them of Petrina's passing. 

"He'd been with us just a little over a year and by all accounts was a fine young man and a fine officer," he said. 

Mayor Karl Dean issued the following statement, in response to the young officer's untimely death: 

"Michael wanted to dedicate his life to public service, and we are fortunate he chose to serve in Nashville. In his short career with Metro Police, Michael's positive attitude and encouraging nature earned him the admiration of his graduating class, as evidenced by the Christy Dedman Spirit Award they bestowed on him last year. On behalf of the entire city, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Michael's family, friends and fellow officers. We thank them for sharing such a wonderful young man with us. This loss is a tragedy for our Police Department and our entire city."

Originally from Memphis, Petrina graduated from the Metro Police Training Academy in December. 
The last Nashville officer who died in a vehicle-related accident was Christy Dedman on July 19, 2004. An award was created in her name for graduating cadets who showed energy and enthusiasm.

Petrina won the award when he graduated last September.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)