MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Bill Giannini was killed Thursday afternoon on I-40 in Decatur County while driving back to Memphis from Nashville.
Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland said his friendship with Giannini goes back 25 years.
"It's a sad day. I lost a good friend, a dear friend," Roland said. "I was just with him Monday night."
Troopers said his car crossed the median, causing a head-on collision. The driver of the other car was hurt, but there's no word right now how he or she is doing.
"He was an exceptional person, cared about his family," Roland said.
Giannini was a husband and father of four children. He was also a former chairman of Shelby County Republican Party and former deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
"He was really a voice for Shelby County when it came to the insurance world and setting rates and stuff,, and he was able to get us into a different seismic zone so we can be more competitive with the counties around U.S.," Roland said.
Back in 2012, Giannini was also the driver in a crash that slammed into a car on I-40. An 8-year-old boy was killed, and Giannini was not charged in that case.
"The irony of the thing is it was right around Christmas when it happened. And this happened right around Christmas," Roland said. "It's a sad day."
Ir's a tough reality for at least two families this holiday season.