The morning of Friday, May 25, Savannah Police Officer Anthony Christie, 37, was fatally wounded after his patrol car was struck by a tractor trailer on Interstate 16.
"About 2:30 a.m. SPD officers responded to a head-on collision on eastbound I-16 at Dean Forest Road that was the result of a vehicle traveling the wrong way. The crash resulted in the closure of eastbound lanes while officers and our Traffic Investigation Unit managed the scene," police report.
Officer Christie and multiple other SPD officers responded to the scene to assist with traffic control.
"Officer Christie was parked in his patrol car with lights activated in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 16 to divert traffic off of the interstate onto Dean Forest when a tractor trailer struck the side of his vehicle, resulting in critical injuries to the officer. He later succumbed to those injuries," police say.
Christie, a decorated war veteran, has served with Savannah Police Department since December 2015 and was officially sworn in on May 19, 2016. He was assigned to the Central Precinct.
He, along with other officers, was awarded a Team Work Award for assisting in the search and rescue of a missing child who was abandoned in the woods by a robbery suspect in 2016. Prior to his law enforcement career, Christie served his country for 13 years in the Navy as a Master-at-Arms Second Class in the 4th Fleet and remains a reservist.
“Officer Christie was doing what many of our officers do every day when he was tragically struck this morning,” said Chief Mark Revenew. “We know policing is a dangerous job, but that doesn’t make incidents like this any less heartbreaking for our community, our department and the entire blue family.”
“This is a sad day in the City of Savannah,” said Mayor Eddie DeLoach. “Please keep Officer Christie and all of our officers in your prayers. If you see an officer, please stop them and thank them for their service.”
“This is a terrible tragedy for our City and it is a reminder to us all of the sacrifice our first responders make, along with their families,” said City Manager Rob Hernandez. “Our hearts are heavy for the pain now being felt by Officer Christie’s family, friends and fellow officers.”
The Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) is conducting the investigation of this crash.
Chaplains and EAP will be providing support to officers, family, friends and co-workers in the wake of this incident.
Officer Christie is survived by his wife Nicole.