Semi Strikes, Kills LMPD Detective On Christmas Eve… Driver Facing Murder Charges
Louisville, Kentucky – A truck driver has been charged with Murder and Operating Under The Influence after the semi he was driving struck a Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) cruiser and killed a female officer.
Officials say LMPD Det. Deidre Mengedoht, 32, was conducting a routine traffic stop, with emergency lights on, along I-64 eastbound at approximately 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve when a semi truck struck the rear of her cruiser. Det. Mengedoht was inside the cruiser when it was struck.
The cruiser crashed into the stopped pickup truck in front and burst into flames. Mengedoht became trapped inside and died on scene according to LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.
Chief Conrad called Det. Mengedoht, known by her friends and colleagues as Dede, “very hard-working.”
“This is a tragic, tragic day for Dede’s family, the men and women of the Metro Police Department, and quite frankly, for everyone she touched in this community,” Chief Conrad said at a press briefing. “I can’t imagine what her family is going through.”
Four people were inside the pickup truck, but none were seriously injured in the crash officials say.
Shortly after news of the crash broke, the governor of Kentucky, R-Governor Matt Bevin, took to Twitter to urge motorist’s to drive safely and calling the incident “heartbreaking.”
Heartbreaking news unfolding on this Christmas Eve involving a police officer who was assisting a stranded motorist…
PLEASE be careful on the roads this holiday season as you travel across Kentucky…We want everyone to make it safely home including those who protect and serve
— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) December 24, 2018
The semi-truck was driven by Metropolitan Sewer District employee Roger Burdette, 60. Police on scene administered a field sobriety test. WLKY posted footage from the test and we have shared it below.
Police say the results of the test were consistent with Operating Under The Influence though Burdette denies having had anything to drink. Burdette did admit to taking multiple prescription medications.
Charges of Murder and Operating Under The Influence were filed against Burdette. At a court hearing on Wednesday, Burdette pleaded Not Guilty to the charges and Burdette’s legal representation asked the judge to lower the bond of $200,000 due to Burdette’s clean criminal history. The request was denied.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow this story.
Video shared courtesy of WLKY/YouTube.