NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee officer was killed in a fiery crash early Thursday morning when a 17-year-old driver ran into his police car, authorities said.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department announced the death of Officer John Anderson, 28, in a tweet.
“It was extreme sadness that the MNPD confirms the on-duty death of Central Precinct Officer John Anderson,” the department wrote on Twitter Thursday morning.
BREAKING: 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. Officer Anderson was killed at 3:05 am in a vehicle crash at Interstate Dr & Woodland St. His police car was hit by a 17-yr-old driver pic.twitter.com/Ye9sb0KBTs
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) July 4, 2019
The fatal collision occurred at around 3 a.m. when a Ford Fusion driven by 17-year-old Jayona Brown went through a flashing red light and struck Anderson’s car “very, very hard” in the intersection, police spokesman Don Aaron said at a news conference.
The force of the crash caused Anderson’s car to spin, slam into a utility pole and catch fire, he said. Anderson, a four-year veteran with the department, died at the scene, reported NBC News.
Moments before the crash, a different officer passed Brown driving with her high-beams on. Aaron said she did not dim her lights for the officer or other oncoming traffic.
The officer began pursuing the car, attempting to stop it. Brown initially slowed down, but then “took off” when the officer turned on his siren, according to Aaron.
Aaron said the officer checked to see if the car had been reported stolen and because it had not, stopped pursuing the vehicle.
Police believe Officer Anderson was on his way to provide backup to a colleague when he was hit.
Brown was hospitalized with injuries that are not life threatening. An 18-year-old passenger in her car was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, Aaron said.