BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police shut down three lanes of travel on Interstate 65 North at Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood Wednesday to re-enact a fatal officer crash.
Authorities told News 2 the lane closures were ordered Tuesday afternoon.
It was done to determine if charges should be filed against the driver who hit and killed Officer Michael Petrina on the morning of May 10.
They are also working to present the district attorney with a complete understanding of what happened.
Dean Diver, 71, was driving a motorhome when he struck Petrina, who was directing traffic following an earlier crash.
Diver told police he could not change lanes because of traffic and was forced to try to drive in between Petrina’s cruiser and a Tennessee Department of Transportation truck.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Metro department traffic unit recreated the crash by posting a help truck and a police car where they were on the day of the crash.
The police department also put a camera in the driver compartment of an old Metro RV to accurately show the crash from Diver’s perspective.
Don Aaron, Public Affairs Manager for Metro police, said the department would do this for any motorist if the investigation warranted it.
“Certainly, the police department does re-enactments like this when it is necessary. Not every fatal crash requires a re-enactment, but when you have circumstances like in this case with a motor home and two vehicles blocking the lanes of traffic, you couldn’t do a re-enactment like this on the day of. We feel the community understands the very serious nature of this crash. A police officer was killed and the case file needs to be complete when the DA reviews it, making today’s re-enactment necessary.”
The lanes of I-65 were blocked at 10 a.m. and remained that way for about 90 minutes.
Officials said Wednesday was a good day to recreate the accident because the weather conditions were similar to how they were on May 10.
A Memphis native, Petrina, 25, graduated from the Metro Nashville Police Department Academy last year.
He is the first Nashville police officer to die in the line of duty since Officer Christy Dedman in 2004.