Officer Michael Petrina Killed on I-65
May 10, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The men and women of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department are mourning the death of South Precinct Officer Michael Petrina, who was killed in the line of duty at 9:48 a.m. today after being struck by a motorhome and the trailer it was pulling on I-65 near Brentwood.
The entrance ramp to the I-65 northbound lanes had become blocked by a large overturned trailer being pulled by a pickup truck. This occurred at 9:14 a.m. To facilitate traffic attempting to enter the interstate from the Old Hickory Boulevard on-ramp, Officer Petrina and a TDOT Help Truck operator positioned their vehicles in the two right lanes of the four-lane interstate. Both vehicles had their emergency lights activated and orange cones were placed behind the Help Truck and police car. As a motorhome pulling a trailer approached the scene in lane number 3, the driver reported that the speed and volume of traffic in lanes 1 and 2 prevented him from moving to the left and that, due to his speed, he attempted to drive in between the police car and the Help Truck. At the time, Officer Petrina and the Help Truck operator were standing beside the Help Truck’s driver’s door. The Help Truck operator saw the oncoming motorhome, yelled at the officer and ran out of the way. Officer Petrina was unable to do so. The motorhome and trailer sideswiped the Help Truck and struck Officer Petrina. He was thrown underneath the motorhome’s trailer and died at the scene.
Neither the driver of the motorhome, Dean Joseph Diver, 71, of Key Largo, Florida, nor his wife, Lucille, was hurt. After consulting with an Assistant District Attorney who responded to the scene, no charges are being placed against Diver at present. The final investigative report will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office when it is complete.
Officer Petrina, 25, graduated from the MNPD Academy on September 26, 2013. He worked in various precincts while on probation before his post-probation assignment at the South Precinct.
“This is a very sad day for this police department and our city,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “Officer Petrina purposefully chose Nashville as the place he wanted to pursue a career in public service and law enforcement. He moved here from Germantown in Shelby County and immediately impressed his academy class with his great attitude, motivation and drive. In fact, Officer Petrina was chosen by his class to receive the Officer Christy Dedman Spirit Award at graduation, a testament to the fine man that he was.”
The Officer Christy Dedman Spirit Award is named in honor of the last Metro officer killed in the line of duty. Officer Dedman died on July 19, 2004 after being struck by a tractor-trailer while assisting a stranded motorist on I-40.
Funeral arrangements for Officer Petrina are pending. His family resides in Germantown.
Counseling is being provided for Officer Petrina’s South Precinct colleagues.