Reaction to the two law enforcement officers killed in Tuesday’s helicopter crash

Tributes from law enforcement and officials

WHITESIDE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Tennessee Highway Patrol have now identified the two law enforcement officers who were killed in a helicopter crash in Marion County.

They were THP Sergeant Lee Russell from the Aviation Division and Marion County Sheriff’s Department Detective Matt Blansett.

“There are no words to describe the heartache and sadness our department is experiencing right now,” said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long.  “Sergeant Russell was an outstanding pilot but an even better person.  We mourn with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in the loss of Detective Matt Blansett.  Both men were passionate about their jobs. This is a tremendous loss for the Tennessee law enforcement community. We ask for prayers of comfort for the families, our department, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department during this dark and difficult time.”

“Our hearts are filled with sadness,” said THP Colonel Matt Perry. “As we navigate these difficult times, we ask that you please pray for their families, friends, and the men and women of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. These men are heroes, and we will never forget them.”

House Speaker Cameron Sexton says:

“We are extremely saddened to learn about the tragic accident and the loss of life involving a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter yesterday in Marion County. Our entire state is praying for those we have lost, and may their loved ones be comforted during this difficult time.”


Haletown Volunteer Fire Department

300771639 618586099863828 2742732484279757496 NIt took me a while to figure out how to word this post, because I could never imagine something like this could happen in our service area.
Last night we lost two amazing brothers in the THP helicopter accident. HVFD would like to thank everyone who came to the aid of our brothers, because the lists of agencies that arrived is so long it’d take up your whole feed. And thank you to our community, especially the local residents and restaurants that donated so much food for our responders.
Our prayers go out to our brothers’ families, their coworkers at Tennessee Highway Patrol and Marion County Sheriff Dept, and their friends.

301486264 3297985100422019 4438507160995885603 NSouth Pittsburg Elementary School

“SPES lost a true supporter of our community Tuesday. To show our respect and appreciation, SPES students can choose to wear blue tomorrow, Thursday, August 25.”


Dade County Sheriff’s Office

300878102 436012815230203 4663176327051248871 NOur hearts are breaking over the loss of Sergeant Lee Russell (THP) and Detective Matt Blansett (Marion County SO).
Our Narcotics and Criminal Investigators worked with Detective Blansett often. He was always there to help, and his loss is like losing one of our own.
Matt was a staple in Marion County, and the loss of such an officer will be felt in his community for years to come.
Matt gave his life doing what he loved, and he truly believed that doing what he loved, was making a difference in Marion. Losing a friend is never easy, but it’s especially hard when you lose one like him.
The Deputies of Marion County Sheriff Dept, the community of Marion, Matt’s family and friends, and especially his wife and 2 little boys, will remain in our hearts and minds.
The memory of Detective Matt Blansett will remain with us forever here at Dade County Sheriff’s Office!!
Categories: Featured, Local News, Marion County, Regional News