Brentwood officer killed in crash described as ‘shining star’

Middle TN

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — A veil of sadness hangs over Brentwood after a young police officer, described as a shining star, died in a horrific crash around 6 a.m. Thursday.

Investigators said a woman driving a black Jeep traveling northbound on Franklin Road crossed the center lane, drove into an oncoming lane of traffic and struck 30-year-old Destin Legieza’s police cruiser.

“The officer did everything that appears to be right, and the young lady crossed the line, we don’t know why, that is under investigation,” said Lieutenant Bill Miller with Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Legieza, a five-year veteran of the force, worked the midnight shift and was finishing up his shift, on the way to park his police car at another location when the crash occurred.

Midnight shift officers raced to help their fallen brother, but his injuries were too severe.

By mid-morning, the profound sadness of the loss filled Franklin Road as THP officers reconstructed the crime scene, and Brentwood officers were seen hugging one another.

Brentwood Police Chief Jeff Hughes tells News 2 that Officer Legieza’s car had a dash camera, but the equipment malfunctioned and there is no recording of the moment of impact.

THP said the driver of the black Jeep that caused the wreck and all of the factors involved in the crash is now being investigated.

“We’ll look at cell phone records to see if she was driving distracted. We’ll look at impairment to see if she was or was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Lt. Miller.

Officer Legieza leaves behind a wife, he had no children. Assistant Chief Richard Hickey said he was part of a 14-officer night crew that was tight and friendly, on and off the job.

“He was a shining star on our police dept. It’s a tough day for us. This is our first officer lost in the line of duty,” said Hickey.

A candlelight vigil will be held for Officer Legieza at Brentwood City Hall on Friday evening at 8 p.m. There will also be a candlelight vigil held by Brentwood Police on Friday at the Fellowship Bible Church on 1210 Franklin Road in Brentwood, guests are asked to bring a candle, a mask, and to remember social distancing.

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