We lost another brother this morning.

The Metro Nashville Police Department shared the heartbreaking news today that they lost one their own after an early morning crash near Nissan Stadium downtown.

“It is with extreme sadness that the MNPD confirms the on-duty death of Central Precinct Officer John Anderson, 28, a 4-yr MNPD veteran,” said.

The released a statement Thursday morning on Twitter. 

“Officer Anderson was a very well-liked officer,” Police spokesman Don Aaron said during a press conference. “He was on the streets of Nashville serving this city.” 

Here’s what happened.

Anderson, was killed in a crash at 3:05 a.m. Thursday morning at the intersection of Interstate Dr. & Woodland Street.

According to police, his car was hit by a female 17-year-old driver in a Ford Fusion which also had an 18-year-old female passenger.  The driver suffered minor injuries and the passenger suffered life threatening injuries.

Aaron said a different officer tried to stop the Fusion because the car was weaving and had its brights on, but the driver wouldn’t pull over stop. 

That officer looked up the car’s information to see if it had been stolen, according to Aaron. When he realized it wasn’t, he didn’t pursue the vehicle.

In the meantime, Officer Anderson was responding to assist another officer who was handling a pedestrian on the highway and was traveling to East Nashville on Woodland Street.

Spokesperson Kris Mumford said the driver of the Fusion was on Interstate Drive and had a red flashing light… but blew through it and hit Anderson “very, very hard” on the driver’s side.

“The Fusion struck with tremendous impact,” Mumford said. 

That impact pushed the cruiser into a nearby utility pole, causing the vehicle to catch fire.

“The investigation will continue for the next many hours, days. We’ll see the results of it during that time,” Aaron said.  

The two in the vehicle that hit the officer were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Skyline Medical Center. 

 

Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m., Aaron said the driver was discharged from Vanderbilt and arrested. 

She will be charged with vehicular homicide by recklessness, evading arrest and driving with a suspended license.  Early reports suggested she might have been intoxicated.  We have not been able to confirm that.

Anderson is normally the midnight shift in the Central Precinct, which encompasses downtown. 

“A very tragic way to start off, what’s supposed to be, a very festive weekend,” Chief Steve Anderson, no relation, said in a statement. “Officer Anderson was a big part of the police department.”

Here’s Chief Anderson’s message from the scene of the accident:

According to Nashville Mayor David Briley, Anderson’s death is a reminder of the daily sacrifices of emergency responders:

“Officer Anderson pledged his life to serve and protect us – a solemn duty that we can sometimes take for granted,” Briley said. “His death today is a stark reminder of that pledge, and his service to our city will be forever remembered.”

Councilman Brett Withers said the loss is devastating… not to mention senseless.

“May God receive Officer John Anderson and walk with his family and friends during this time of loss and sorrow,” Withers said. “And may God watch over the young driver and her passenger as they heal from injuries and come to terms with what happened this morning.”

According to police, Anderson was a member of the Drill and Ceremony Team.  That meant he was often tasked with honoring fallen officers throughout Tennessee. 

“When our city experiences tragedy, we come together as one community to support and lift each other up. I am sure that will happen now. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Officer John Anderson and our entire police force today,” said Briley.

 

District Attorney Glenn Funk released a statement as well:

“We are heartbroken to learn about Officer John Anderson’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Anderson’s family and with the men and women of the Metro Nashville Police Department who put their lives on the line for our safety every day.”