Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and brothers & sisters in blue of Officer Anthony Christie, of the Savannah Police Department, especially his wife, Nicole.  Officer Christie, 37, a member of the Savannah Police Department for only 2 1/2 years, was responding to a traffic accident, around 3 a.m., Friday (May 25, 20018). Prior to his law enforcement career, Officer Christie served his country for 13 years in the US Navy as a Master-at-Arms, Second Class and remained a reservist. During his military service, he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terror Service Medal. His death is especially poignant as Memorial Day approaches.

According to officials, SPD officers responded to a head-on collision, around 2:30 a.m., on I-16 East near Dean Forest Road. The initial crash was caused by a car traveling in the wrong direction. Eastbound lanes were closed after the wreck occurred. Officer Christie, along with other officers, went to the scene to assist with traffic control.  Officer Christie was seated in his cruiser, which was parked with his lights on, to divert traffic away from the scene, when struck by a tractor trailer.  He suffered critical injuries, to which, he later succumbed.  There is an ongoing investigation.

Officer Christie was hired by the department in December 2015 and completed the academy in May 2016.  He was recognized for his role in finding a baby that had been abandoned in some woods by a robbery suspect, back in 2016. “He was doing a great job all the way through,” Interim Chief Revenew said. “He was well-liked and had an impeccable record.”

Two additional accidents occurred nearby and were attributed to “distracted driving” or “rubbernecking.” We have all seen the backup and delays during traffic accidents, as passersby slow down to view the accident. In many cases, the passersby, distastefully, take photos and video of accident scenes. Sadly, this is not the first fatality of an officer responding to accidents. Nine officers were struck and killed on the side of the roadway in 2017, alone. This does not include 38 other officers, killed during other traffic collisions.

More needs to be done to protect the men and women who protect us, here at home.

The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire supports the families of those who have fallen in the line of duty, in both South Carolina and Georgia.  If you would like to make a donation, please click here.