Jackson, TN – Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Trooper Matthew Gatti died in the line of duty on Monday evening, after his patrol vehicle collided with two tractor trailers.
The 24-year-old trooper was responding to a report of a car fire at approximately 3:45 p.m., when he lost control of his cruiser near mile marker 74 on Interstate 40 eastbound, WSMV reported.
Trooper Gatti’s patrol vehicle slid into the back of a tractor trailer, which caused it to spin into another tractor trailer.
The Memphis District trooper was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I want him to be remembered as somebody who loved people. I want him to be remembered as somebody who loved his God,” said his father, Chris Gatti, according to WREG. “The last picture of my son was last night at church. That's what I want him to be remembered as."
Trooper Gatti served at the Madison County Criminal Justice Complex prior to joining the THP in June of 2018, the Jackson Sun reported.
“Trooper Gatti was an asset to our district.,” THP Memphis District Captain Jimmie Johnson said, according to WSMV. “He was young, he was energetic, and he was always trying to learn and requesting specialized schools to further his education on our highway patrol."
Chris said that Trooper Gatti “died doing what he loved,” and that he “knew what it meant to protect and serve,” WREG reported.
"I've been told, 'All I have to offer is prayers,'" the grieving father added. "That's all we need."
Trooper Gatti leaves behind his wife, Anna, as well as his parents and three teenage siblings, WSMV reported.
“Our hearts are filled with much grief and sadness,” the THP said in a press release, according to WBIR. “The family of Trooper Gatti is in our deepest thoughts and prayers. Please keep Trooper Gatti, his family and friends in your hearts and prayers.”
Chris said that his son will be remembered for the positive impact he made on others.
"Matt's life with us on earth has ended but his legacy will live on,” Chris told reporters. “I believe that with all my heart that his affecting people and changing their lives is going to outlive him because that's all he was about."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew Gatti, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.