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MSD truck driver who struck and killed LMPD detective on Christmas Eve charged with murder

Rodger D. Burdette admitted to taking multiple prescription drugs before hitting detective Deidre Mengedoht's cruiser with his MSD semi-truck, killing her.

The Jefferson County Grand Jury has charged the former MSD truck driver who struck and killed LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht on December 24, 2018, with murder and DUI.

Roger D. Burdette was charged with one count of murder, four counts of wanton endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants and failure to give right of way to a stopped emergency vehicle.

The wanton endangerment charges result from the fact that the crash also threatened death or serious physical injury to the four occupants of the motor vehicle Mengedoht had stopped.

Burdette is expected to be formally arraigned Monday, February 18, at 1 p.m.

In their preliminary investigation, police said the Burdette crashed the MSD semi-trailer he was driving into Mengedoht's cruiser, ramming into the truck that was stopped and causing the cruiser to go up in flames. 

Burdette failed a field sobriety test, his arrest report stating he could not keep his balance and had difficulty following the officer's instructions during the test. He had admitted to officers that he had taken multiple prescription drugs on the scene of the crash.

RELATED: More details released about the deadly crash that took the life of LMPD officer Deidre Mengedoht

Mengedoht was buried on December 31, 2018. Her family sued MSD and Burdette, claiming that not only did Burdette show gross negligence in the crash, but MSD showed negligent in its duties to supervise, train and retain its employee.

On Feb. 18, Burdette pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, wanton endangerment, DUI, and failure to give right of way to a stopped emergency vehicle. He will be back in court to discuss his bond on Friday, Feb. 22.

RELATED: Family of fallen LMPD detective sues MSD, truck driver that struck and killed her

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Kentucky released a statement on the crash and Mengedoht's death, saying:

“MADD is devastated by the senseless death of Louisville Metro Police Detective Deidre Mengedoht, whose car was hit by a driver who reportedly displayed signs of impairment and told officers he had taken multiple prescription drugs. This horrific crash is another reminder of the tragic loss of life caused by impaired driving, and of the dangers law enforcement officers face every day while protecting their communities. MADD Kentucky stands ready to provide support to Detective Mengedoht’s family, friends and our longtime partners at the Louisville Metro Police Department during this difficult time.” 

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