NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 72-year-old driver who struck and killed a rookie Metro police officer while traveling on Interstate 65 earlier this year is now charged with reckless homicide.
Dean Diver surrendered to Metro police Wednesday morning after he was indicted by a Davidson County grand jury.
The accident involving Diver and Officer Michael Petrina occurred May 10.
Petrina, 25, was assisting a Tennessee Department of Transportation Help truck operator with an accident at the Old Hickory Boulevard exit when he was struck by Driver’s motorhome carrying a trailer.
Petrina died at the scene.
“I think the work our traffic people did fully supports the content of the indictment,” Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said. “I hope this is a constant reminder to everyone driving on all interstates.”
Chief Anderson said Petrina’s family is still struggling to cope with his death.
“I know they are still very, very upset for the loss of his life,” he said. “It is something they will never get passed, but maybe this is a step in helping them cope in the best manner possible.”
Diver told police he could not change lanes because of traffic. He stated he was trying to drive in between the TDOT truck and the officer’s cruiser.
The TDOT truck worker tried to warn Petrina, but it was too late.
“This has been an issue that the Fraternal Order of Police had been working with for the past six months,” FOP President Sgt. Robert Weaver said. “This indictment will help many officers because this is a concern many officers have brought to me.”
Diver previously told ABC affiliate WTVG in Toledo, Ohio, “I did what I could. I made a mistake, and I am trying to get through this. It’s a hard time for everyone involved.”
At the time of his death, Petrina had only been on the force less than a year.
After Petrina’s death law enforcement officials and emergency workers started a social media campaign to remind people of Tennessee’s Move Over Law.
Agencies across the country tweeted with the hash tag #MoveOver.
Diver is jailed on a $10,000 bond.