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"It's a brotherhood" | Community mourns after Loudon Co. deputy hit and killed by truck

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said the truck driver who hit Sgt. Chris Jenkins was under the influence at the time.

LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. — A Loudon County deputy was hit and killed when a tractor-trailer truck crashed into several cars early Thursday morning. Officials said Sgt. Chris Jenkins was removing a ladder that had fallen onto I-75 when it happened, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the driver was under the influence at the time.

The community is now mourning Sgt. Jenkins. The Loudon County Sheriff's Office said they were devastated, and a memorial was created in his memory. Law enforcement agencies from surrounding counties also said they were in mourning.

"It's a brotherhood and anytime one of the people in the brotherhood hurts, everybody hurts," said Jeff Clark, Cheif Deputy at the Blount County Sherrif's Office.

Sgt. Jenkins joined the Loudon County Sheriff's Office in 2002 and rose through the ranks over the years. In 2021, he was named a sergeant after previously working as a K-9 patrol unit. 

A memorial with his former K-9 patrol unit was set up in front of the justice center, where community members could leave flowers and pay their respects.

"Everybody hurts because knowing that could be you or it could your coworker that you work with your agency as well," said Clark. 

The THP said the truck driver faces charges of vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular homicide by recklessness, reckless endangerment, DUI, having a gun while under the influence, and some other drug charges. They also said an inspection of the tractor-trailer is being conducted.

Jennifer White is a 911 responder and a relative to Sgt. Jenkins. She says his death is a great loss to their family and community. 

"At a loss, just at a loss," said another community member. "We lost an incredible man, an incredible father, and an incredible officer. And our hearts are broken."

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