Fallen LMPD detective honored 2 years after death in fiery crash

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Two years after Louisville Metro Police Detective Deidre Mengedoht was killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 64, she was remembered in a virtual graveside ceremony.

On Christmas Eve in 2018, Mengedoht pulled a car over on I-64 in downtown Louisville. Roger Burdette, a former MSD employee driving a work truck, crashed into Mengedoht’s car. It burst into flames and killed her.

Every year on the anniversary of her death, LMPD holds a memorial service. Last year, it drew a crowd to her gravesite. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic kept it virtual.

Former LMPD Maj. Bill Weedman, who is a pastor, spoke and said a prayer.

Detective Deidre Mengedoht.

“Elisabeth Elliott, a famous Christian author and speaker, once said there’s nothing worth living for unless it’s worth dying for,” Weeman said. “For Deidre, protecting and serving people as a police officer was worth living for.”

Weedman encouraged everyone to live the way Mengedoht did by serving others. 

“Let’s use Deidre’s passion for life and love for God and ask ourselves the same question,” Weedman said. “What is it in our lives worth living for?”

Interim LMPD Chief Yvette Gentry also spoke. She recounted a memory from seven years ago with Mengedoht when the department was working on a recruitment campaign. She said she called on Mengedoht to help her find the perfect candidate for an officer. Gentry said that perfect candidate would have had all of the qualities Mengedoht had.

“She would dig deep in her pocket and deep in her heart to help people in any way she could, especially young people who were straying away from the path that she knew would lead them to their best life,” Gentry said.

During the ceremony, Gentry and a fellow officer laid a memorial wreath and flowers at her grave. There was a moment of silence and a call out over the radio to honor Mengedoht.

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