LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

LMPD officer dies in crash on I-64; MSD driver charged with murder, DUI


A police officer is dead after a fiery crash on I-64 reportedly involving a semi and an LMPD cruiser.

Officials identified the deceased as LMPD Det. Deidre Mengedoht, 32. Police chief Steve Conrad said Mengedoht had served seven-plus years with the force.

Mengedoht was reportedly conducting a traffic stop on a truck with four passengers inside when an MSD truck crashed into her cruiser. The officer's cruiser then struck the truck that had pulled over and caught fire. Investigators said the officer had her emergency lights on and was in the right-hand lane.

Police said Mengedoht was trapped inside her burning cruiser and died at the scene.

Police arrested the truck driver, 60-year-old Rodger Burdett, on charges of murder and DUI.

A number of officials and other departments offered their condolences Monday evening.

Louisville mayor Greg Fischer released the following statement:

"My heart is breaking today as we mourn the tragic death of Louisville Metro Police Detective Deidre Mengedoht. When Deidre joined LMPD, 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. Our thoughts and prayers go to Deidre's family, and to Second Division Major Ryan Bates and his team, Chief Conrad and all LMPD officers as they mourn their sister's death. At a time when so many of us are gathered with family in celebration of the holidays, this is a terribly sad day for our entire community. I urge my fellow citizens to join me in praying for Deidre's family, and her LMPD brothers and sisters."

"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

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of @LMPD in the loss of one of their own today. Our hearts are grieved for the officer's family who today, on Christmas Eve, is receiving the call no family ever wants to receive. May God keep them close and comfort them today." -- Angela Leet (@CWAngelaLeet) December 24, 2018

"An @LMPD officer will not be going home to their family tonight. We are thinking of our brothers and sisters in Louisville, and reminded that life is precious and fleeting. Thank you for your service, Officer." -- Lexington Police (@lexkypolice) December 24, 2018

"It's very devastating to the department," said Metro Council president David James, who formerly served with LMPD. "The officers that work with these officers that we've lost, it's devastating to them also. It's a big loss for them. The police department is like one giant family and they love one another, so it's just very hard."

"At this point all I ask for is prayers for the officer's family. Obviously it's Christmas Eve so just prayers for the family right now, that's all we really need," Louisville Fraternal Order of Police president Nicolai Jilek said. "Every day this is a potential reality. And every day that we all can go to bed, where everybody goes home safe, is a good day. But you really never know when these things can happen. That risk is there every day."