NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Metro Nashville Police officer died in a crash early Thursday morning after his cruiser was struck by a teen driver.
The Tennessean reports Officer John Anderson was responding to assist another officer around 3:05 a.m. when a Ford Fusion hit the driver’s side of his cruiser with enough force to push it into a nearby utility pole. The cruiser then caught fire.
The Fusion’s driver was 17-year-old Jayona Brown, who was treated for minor injuries before she was booked into juvenile detention on charges that include vehicular homicide. Her 18-year-old female passenger was being treated for life-threating injuries.
The 28-year-old Anderson was a 4-year veteran of the force. He was also a member of the Drill and Ceremony Team, often tasked with honoring fallen officers throughout Middle Tennessee.
Nashville Mayor David Briley said in a statement that Anderson’s death was a reminder of the sacrifices first responders make every day.
“Officer Anderson pledged his life to serve and protect us — a solemn duty that we can sometimes take for granted,” Briley said. “His death today is a stark reminder of that pledge, and his service to our city will be forever remembered.”
Briley and Police Chief Steve Anderson, no relation to the officer, said they would hold a moment of silence for Officer Anderson during the city’s Fourth of July festivities.
In a statement Chief Anderson said the officer’s death was a very tragic way to begin the holiday.
“It goes without saying that when we lose an officer … it’s like losing a brother or sister,” he said.