Accidents in Tennessee can be much more than a nuisance. For some, one decision by another can lead to tragedy and permanent changes in their lives. According to WSMV News 4, this is the case for the family of a law enforcement official who was killed in an early-morning crash. Members of his department are also mourning the loss of a colleague who was considered a large part of the police department.

A 17-year-old driver is in custody after fleeing a traffic stop and crashing into a police car. The officer’s car then hit a light pole and caught fire in the intersection. While the driver was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, the officer died at the scene and the passenger in the car was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. After being released from the hospital, the driver was charged with felony evading arrest, vehicular homicide by recklessness, driving on a suspended license, aggravated assault by recklessness and a juvenile curfew violation.

Another officer attempted to stop the car because it had its bright lights on, but the driver slowed down and then sped away as the officer activated his siren. Because the car was not reported stolen, the officer decided not to pursue the vehicle. The deceased officer was on the way to help another officer with a pedestrian.

The driver’s hearing has been postponed and, in the meantime, a family is left to process how to deal with the death of a loved one, the loss of income and the costs of a burial. In addition to criminal charges, the family may have grounds to file a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle.