First Responders

Truck Kills Memphis Police Officer

October 5, 2021Noelle Wiehe
Officer Adams

Memphis Police Department Officer Darrell Adams, 34, died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, after being struck by an 18-wheel semitrailer truck. Photo courtesy of the Memphis Police Department.

Authorities continue to probe the death of Memphis Police Department Officer Darrell Adams, who was struck by an 18-wheel semitrailer truck on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Memphis Police Department officials told Coffee or Die Magazine on Monday that Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators detained an unnamed driver in connection with the fatal accident, but no charges have been filed.

The truck allegedly hit Adams, 34, at 11:08 a.m. Saturday while he stood along the shoulder of Interstate 40 West near North Watkins Street. He was one of a group of Austin Peay Station officers who had responded to reports of a two-car crash there.

“Today, my heart aches again for the loss of another dedicated servant of our city,” Memphis Police Department Chief C.J. Davis wrote in a prepared statement shared Saturday evening on social media. “I am in deep prayer for our officer’s family and the men and women of the Memphis Police Department.”

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Adams joined the force in mid-2016. He is survived by his wife.

Tennessee Highway Patrol officials didn’t respond to Coffee or Die‘s messages seeking comment.

Adams became the second Memphis Police officer to die in the line of duty this year, according to the department’s official in-memoriam website.

On May 22, Officer Scotty Triplett was on his motorcycle performing escort duties when an oncoming car struck him. The officer died of his injuries at a nearby hospital. 

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington, DC, vehicle accidents have killed 47 officers so far this year a 31% increase from the same period in 2020.

“It is a tragedy and it is something that we as law enforcement officers have to deal with far too often,” Shelby County, Tennessee, Deputy Sheriff Ernice Long told Coffee or Die. 

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“As far as traffic accidents, It happens far, far too often,” Long continued. “Most of the time it’s because somebody is not really paying attention when we’re out there on the streets trying to handle some traffic event or something like that.” 

The Tennessee Department of Safety counts 986 traffic fatalities in the Volunteer State this year — a 10% rise from 2020.

Read Next: Feds: Dirty Cop Threatened To Order Sicario Hit on Fellow Officer’s Family

Noelle Wiehe
Noelle Wiehe

Noelle is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die through a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and interned with the US Army Cadet Command. Noelle also worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military as a public affairs specialist.

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