Former Columbia officer killed in Rutherford County crash - WKRN News 2

Former Columbia officer killed in Rutherford County crash

Posted: Updated: Feb 4, 2013 07:08 PM CST
Bryan Delk, 41, of Columbia, died in a crash Saturday morning near Murfreesboro. Bryan Delk, 41, of Columbia, died in a crash Saturday morning near Murfreesboro.

A former Columbia police officer was killed after colliding with another vehicle on Interstate 24 in Rutherford County Saturday morning.

The crash happened just before 8:30 a.m. on I-24 West at mile marker 81 near Murfreesboro.

Much of the interstate was covered in snow at the time and the Tennessee Highway Patrol had called for the roadway to be closed due to the conditions.

According to reports, Bryan Delk, 41, was unable to slow the FedEx van he was driving and rear-ended a GMC truck traveling in front of him.

The driver of the pickup truck, Jerry Price Mason, was uninjured.

Delk's wife Laurie was attending a work seminar in Knoxville when she received word of husband's accident.  She was told he died over the phone.

"That's when he said, ‘We don't ever like to say these things over the phone, we like to do them in person…,'" Laurie Delk recalled, adding, "He said, ‘Your husband sustained major head injuries and chest injuries and died at the scene.'"

Delk was a contract worker for FedEx and was out making deliveries when the crash occurred.

Laurie Delk described her husband of more than 20 years as a selfless, kindhearted man who always wanted to help others.

She said, "He always told me he loved to see me smile and he would always do things to make it that way."

Laurie Delk said she believes the icy roads played a large role in her husband's accident, adding he was a good driver.

"I think places up north, like Chicago, they're prepared for stuff like so they get out there and salt them ahead of time. Maybe they could have salted them the night before, I don't know, I'd love to find a million places to blame," Delk said.

She continued, "He was a good driver, he drove a police car, they're taught amazing driving techniques."

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Transportation said crews were prepared for the forecasted weather, but was not prepared for the snow that quickly fell.

"I think what we might have been surprised by, as everybody Saturday morning was the accumulation and how much fell in a short amount of time," spokesperson Deanna Lambert said."We had trucks out that morning salting since six, five o'clock in some areas, but really we only have so many resources and we only have so many trucks that can get around."

Since her husband's death, Laurie Delk says the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.  She said it's without a doubt getting her through this difficult time.

"It's really helped me to read their messages to see how great he was for other people too," she said.

In addition to his wife, Delk leaves behind three children.

Family and friends have set up a Web site to Delk's family. Click here for more information.

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