MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. —A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper died in the line of duty following a crash at Mile Marker 74 in Madison County Monday evening.
In a released statement, The Department of Safety and Homeland Security said Trooper Mathew Gatti “was killed in a car crash while responding to a call.”
WREG was initially told by authorities that Gatti was hit and killed by an 18-wheeler. That information proved to be false. They later told WREG Gatti was responding to a car fire when he lost control and went into a sideways slide, causing him to hit a tractor trailer. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Gatti’s father, Chris Gatti, spoke about his 24-year-old son during a press conference.
“I want him to be remembered as somebody who loved people. I want him to be remembered as somebody who loved his God. The last picture of my son was last night at church. That’s what I want him to be remembered as.”
Chris says he’s leaning on his faith and support from others for strength.
“I find it from the lord. Without God I have nothing. I’ve been told all I have to offer is prayers. That’s all we need.”
Captain Jimmie Johnson says he chose Gatti for the job less than a year ago.
“This is the first time I’ve had to go through this, and hopefully the last. I don’t even know. I’m kind of lost for words right now.”
The crash is under investigation.