Knox County assistant chief deputy killed in double fatal crash

Knox County assistant chief deputy killed in double fatal crash

Keith Lyon was wearing his seat belt and had to be cut out of his Expedition. Keith Lyon was wearing his seat belt and had to be cut out of his Expedition.

May 10, 2006

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- An automobile crash claimed the lives of two people late Tuesday night. One of the victims was 42-year-old Knox County Sheriff's Assistant Chief Deputy Keith Lyon, the lead investigator on the Johnia Berry murder case.

The wreck happened at 11:15 p.m. on the 3000 block of Schaad Road, between Pleasant Ridge Road and Western Avenue.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office says the driver of a Volkswagen Jetta, 20-year-old Armin Hadrovic, crossed the center line and hit Lyon's Ford Expedition head on.

Armin Hadrovic and Lyon died on the way to the hospital. Lyon was on duty at the time of the crash.

A passenger in the Jetta, 18-year-old Arnis Hadrovic, brother of the driver, is hospitalized at UT Medical Center.

Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison says it appears the Hadrovics, who were on their way to work, were not wearing seat belts. He says Lyon was wearing his seat belt and had to be cut out of his Expedition.

"It tore the engine out of the Jetta. It totaled both vehicles. The impact was very hard," the sheriff says.

The sheriff also says from what he observed Tuesday night, Lyon tried to avoid the collision. "Chief Lyon probably saw them come around the curve. I don't know what he thought, that they weren't going to make it or what. He literally got over about three feet, over from the center line, and if you've been on Schaad Road you don't have three feet to get over. It's a very narrow two lane road."

Schaad Road was closed to through traffic for several hours overnight.

Investigators continue working to determine the cause of the crash. They do not believe alcohol or drugs played a role.

Lyon's brother, Narcotics Division Capt. Bernie Lyon, tells 6 News he was a great man who worked very hard for the sheriff's office and his community.

Lyon was working to solve the murder of Johnia Berry, who was stabbed to death at her West Knox County apartment in December 2004. No suspects have ever been arrested.

Lyon's brother says he was very passionate about finding Berry's killer. He interviewed thousands of people and logged thousands of hours on the investigation.

Lyon served a little over 18 years with the Knox County Sheriff's Office. He began his career there in July 1988 as a correctional officer. He was promoted to jail sergeant in 1991, jail lieutenant in 1993 and jail captain in 1995.

In 1996, Lyon was promoted to assistant chief deputy of administration, and then to assistant chief deputy in 1997.

Lyon graduated from the state Law Enforcement Training Academy in Donelson and received his POST certification in December 1990. He was commander of the Hazardous Devices Team.

Four times, Lyon received Officer of the Month, twice in 1995 and twice in 2001. He was commander of the first Special Operations Response Team in 1991.

Lyon also helped organize a relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. He helped arrange a trip with 11 officers to the Gulf Coast region of Harrison County, Mississippi in October. The officers took their own vacation time and brought three truckloads of donated building materials.

His father, Gale Lyon, and brother, Leland Lyon, are both chaplains with the sheriff's office Chaplains Corp.

Lyon graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1982. He is survived by his wife, Carla.

The family will receive friends Thursday from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Sevier Heights Baptist Church on Alcoa Highway. The funeral service will follow at 7:30.

The burial service is Friday. Friends and family will meet at Highland Memorial Funeral Home in Bearden at 10:00 a.m. for a procession to Trentville Cemetery on Straw Plains Pike for a graveside service at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Shepherd of the Hills Church may be made in memory of Keith Lyon.

6 News Reporters Jeff Lennox and Amelia Graham contributed to this report.

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