As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.
Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…
The driver of the tractor-trailer rig that slammed into the back of a Metro Police car on I-40 Monday evening killing Officer Christy Dedman is under arrest and faces charges of vehicular homicide and aggravated assault.
James Lee Fitzgerald, 25, of Somerset, Kentucky, is believed to have been driving erratically and in excess of 80 mph as he traveled in the eastbound lanes of I-40. Officer Dedman?s marked police car, with the blue lights activated, was on the left shoulder of the interstate behind a disabled GMC Yukon with a flat tire. Officer Dedman and the driver of the Yukon, Jaimee Underwood, 33, of Franklin, were standing at the left front of the police car near the interstate retaining wall when the tractor-trailer rig slammed into the police vehicle. Dedman died at the scene. Underwood was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical but stable condition.
Fitzgerald, who was driving for Continental Express, Inc., of Oklahoma City, stopped the rig several hundred feet down the interstate. He and his passenger, Barbi Maupin, 33, also of Somerset, Kentucky, were treated at Summit Medical Center and discharged.
Fitzgerald is being held in lieu of $3 million bond.
Officer Dedman, 35, graduated from the Metro Police Training Academy on July 28, 2003. She was working the afternoon/evening shift at the Hermitage Precinct when she was killed.
?Christy Dedman was a dedicated police officer who cared deeply for Nashville and its citizens, and our city has lost a fine public servant,? Chief Ronal Serpas said. ?In talking with her mom and dad, I know that she took this job for all the right reasons. What a tragedy that she lost her life while simply helping a broken down motorist on the side of the interstate.?
Officer Dedman is the second female Nashville police officer killed in the line of duty. She is the 16th officer killed in service to the city since Metropolitan Government was created in 1963.
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The TASER Foundation’s mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of local and federal law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty by providing financial and edcuational support to their families.