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LMPD officer dies after being struck on I-64

An LMPD officer died on Saturday night after being struck by a vehicle earlier in the day on I-64 west, near Mellwood Avenue.

LMPD Chief Erika Shields said Officer Zachary Cottongim was working to remove an abandoned vehicle from the interstate when another driver lost control of their vehicle and struck him.

Shields said Cottongim was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. "They worked tirelessly today," Shields said of the medical staff there. "They worked on Zach for probably about 10 hours and tried everything to save his life."

Shields said Cottongim's wife is also with LMPD and his father is a career officer with the department. He is also survived by two young children.

"It's heartbreaking," Shields said. "There's not much you can offer folks, especially when there's a death that's so senseless and was avoidable."

Shields said Cottongim had been with the department about seven years, and didn't offer any details about the driver who struck him.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.