LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A semitruck driver has been charged with murder and driving under the influence in the death of a police officer in Kentucky.
News media outlets report that Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said late Monday that 32-year-old Detective Deidre Mengedoht died when a Metropolitan Sewer District semitruck driven by 60-year-old Roger Burdette crashed into her police car during a traffic stop on Interstate 64 in Louisville.
Conrad said the officer's car had on its emergency lights. The police vehicle was pushed into the pickup truck Mengedoht had stopped. Her car burst into flames.
An arrest citation says Burdette admitted to taking prescription drugs and was unable to maintain his balance during a sobriety test after Monday's crash. Online court records do not show if Burdette has a lawyer.
The Courier Journal reports that Mengedoht is the third officer to die while serving in the line of duty since the Louisville and Jefferson County police departments merged in 2003.
Four passengers in the pickup truck were not injured, Conrad said. Details about the reason for the traffic stop were not immediately available.
Mengedoht, known as Dee Dee, had been with the department for more than 7 years.
Conrad said "she always went above and beyond what was asked of her or required of her."
"This is a tragic, tragic day for everyone," the police chief said.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer offered condolences on social media.
"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," Fischer said in a statement posted on Twitter.