State trooper dies following Knox County crash
KNOXVILLE — A Tennessee state trooper died Friday while on duty in the Knoxville District.
Trooper Michael Slagle, 53, died following a crash on Longmire Road in Knox County shortly before 7 a.m., according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security,
He was discovered unresponsive and was unable to be revived at the scene. Tennessee Highway Patrol spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said Slagle died of natural causes, not of injuries related to the crash.
A preliminary investigation indicated Slagle was traveling on Longmire Road in the direction of Emory Road when he came upon an icy incline. His vehicle slid off the left side of the road and struck several small trees. The vehicle apparently stopped in a ditch off the roadway.
Slagle was driving to work when the accident occurred, Qualls said.
Colonel Tracy Trott said in a Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security news release that Slagle will be greatly missed.
“Trooper Slagle was a 26-year veteran of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He was a model trooper and a good man. It is a very sad day for our Highway Patrol family and all who knew Michael,” Trott said. “Our prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”
Slagle joined the THP in 1986. Originally from Grainger County, he was initially assigned to Campbell County. During his tenure, he served in both Union and Knox Counties before his current assignment in the Supreme Court detail in Knox County.
Slagle became a field training officer in 2000. Outside of his duties as a state trooper, he also helped provide security for the University of Tennessee marching band in 2003.
Prior to becoming a state trooper, he served as a deputy sheriff for the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office from 1978-1985.
He is a 1978 graduate of Rutledge High School in Grainger County.
Slagle is survived by his wife, two daughters and one son. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.