Highway Patrolman involved in fatal Interstate accident

Authorities are investigating the death of a motorcyclist in an Interstate 24 accident involving a veteran Tennessee Highway Patrol officer, reports the Times-Free Press.

The officer was identified as Butch Reeves, who has been a state trooper since 1999. The motorcycle rider was Jim Garner, 66, of Ringgold, Ga.

THP officials in Nashville did not respond to questions Thursday about Reeves’ employment status.

The accident happened Saturday at 2:13 p.m. CDT at mile marker 161 in the eastbound lanes of I-24 in heavy traffic on the bridge over Nickajack Reservoir, according to authorities.

Garner was the lone rider on a motorcycle when Reeves’ trooper car struck him from behind, District Attorney General Mike Taylor said.

Taylor said he didn’t know what contributing factors were involved in the crash yet, but noted that “my preliminary indication was that [the trooper] was not on an emergency call,” Taylor said.

Details are still being gathered by THP traffic crash investigators, he said.