LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville Metro Police officer has died after being involved in a crash on Interstate 64 in downtown Louisville.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad confirmed Deidre “Dede” Mengedoht was killed while performing a traffic stop.
Mengedoht was 32 years old, with seven and a half years of service with LMPD.
The accident was reported at 2:17 p.m. on I-64 eastbound between Ninth Street and Third Street, in the area under the Belvedere. Conrad said Mengedoht was conducting the traffic stop on a truck in the far right, eastbound lane on Interstate 64 when an MSD semi-truck rear ended the vehicle she was in. The impact pushed the detective’s vehicle into the truck, and then erupted into flames.
Views from WAVE 3 News SkyTrack cameras showed smoke in the area of the accident.
None of the four people inside the truck was injured, Conrad said.
“I cant imagine what her family is going through, today, today of all days,” an emotional Conrad said.
For more than seven years, Mengedoht worked her way up as a beat officer to become a detective.
“DeeDee, as she was known to her friends and colleagues, gave her life serving the community, which was something she loved to do,” Conrad said. “The damage to her vehicle was catastrophic. My heart goes out to her mother, father, young son."
MSD confirmed the man behind the wheel of the MSD semi-truck was Roger Burdette. He has been booked into Metro Corrections on charges of murder and DUI.
An MSD spokesperson released a statement shortly after Conrad spoke at a news conference:
“MSD is cooperating with Louisville Metro Police Department regarding a fatal accident today in downtown Louisville involving an LMPD officer. This is a tragic accident and our condolences go out to Detective Deidre Mengedoht’s family, her fellow officers and the community.”
Following the news of Mengedoht’s passing, community leaders expressed their deepest sympathies.
Mayor Fischer tweeted out his condolences, saying, “My heart is breaking today as we mourn the tragic death of @LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht. When Deidre joined LMPD, she committed herself to service on behalf of our city, and her death is a painful reminder of the sacrifices that our public safety professionals make every day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Deidre’s family, and to the Second Division Major Ryan Bates and his team, Chief Conrad and all LMPD officers as they mourn their sister’s death. At a time when so many of us are gathered with family in celebration of the holidays, this is a terribly sad day for our entire community. I urge my fellow citizens to join me in praying for Deidre’s family, and her LMPD brothers and sisters.”
Former officer and current Metro Council president David James expressed his sympathies Monday evening, saying in a statement, "We, on the Metro Council, are saddened to learn of the loss of one of our LMPD Family. This officer went to work today to once again patrol our streets and died doing an officer’s sworn duty, protecting our great city. This is especially difficult for all the men and women of the LMPD since it is happening during the holidays. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer’s family and coworkers. Instances such as this should remind us all of the dangers our officers face in the line of duty. We should say a special prayer for all who keep us safe during this holiday season.”
Angela Leet also responded to the devastating news, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of
@LMPD in the loss of one of their own today. Our hearts are grieved for the officer’s family who today, on Christmas Eve, is receiving the call no family ever wants to receive. May God keep them close and comfort them today.”
Interstate 64 was closed in both directions for nearly 10 hours while the crash was being investigated. The interstate reopened just before 11 p.m. Monday.