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Metro Police Officer Killed While On Duty - John Dunn

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It is a devastating loss for the Metro Nashville Police Department as 25 year old Officer Michael Petrina is killed in the line of duty. Officer Petrina was hit by a motorhome while directing traffic on Interstate 65. The police department is in mourning. "This is just a very sad day for the Nashville Police Department," says MNPD spokesman Don Aaron.

Emergency crews filled a section of I-65 Northbound, near Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood. They answer the call that no one wants to hear. "This is the most serious of crashes. A Nashville Police Officer, in service to this city, has been killed," says Aaron.

25 year old Michael Petrina arrived on the scene to assist with another crash. A trailer had flipped and was blocking the northbound on ramp.
Petrina and a TDOT help truck had blocked the two right lanes, which forced oncoming traffic to merge left. The driver of a motorhome, 71 year old Dean Diver, says traffic was moving too fast in the left lanes. He was not able to change lanes in time. "The officer was not able to make it to safety. The TDOT help truck was sideswiped, and the officer was struck by the motor home," says Aaron.

Petrina, who was standing outside his vehicle, was pinned under a trailer the motorhome was towing. He died at the scene.

Petrina just graduated from the Metro Police academy last September. He served as an officer in the Tennessee Army National Guard. 10 years ago Metro Officer Christy Dedman was also killed on the interstate. Ironically, Petrina had won the spirit award, which is named in her honor.

"It's a tragic loss for the city. Certainly a tragic loss for this family. Talked with his family in Memphis and obviously they're devastated," says Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson.

Chief Steve Anderson says Petrina's death is a tragic reminder of the dangers officers face and the need for caution on the roads. "I guess the message for the motoring public is slow down, pay attention to those emergency vehicles," says Chief Anderson.

The driver of the motorhome has not been charged, but prosecutors will review the case once the investigation is complete. Michael Petrina studied criminal justice at the University of Memphis.
He is the youngest son of Jim and Joyce Petrina, who live in Germantown in Shelby County.

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