JACKSON, Tenn. (WMC) - Friends and family are remembering the life of Trooper Matthew Gatti Monday.
Gatti, 24, was a member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He died last week in a crash on I-40 just west of Jackson. He’d been with THP less than a year at the time of his death.
Gatti’s father, Chris, spoke with WMC just hours after losing his son.
“You know you’re supposed to go before your children, but one thing I know for sure, Matt knew what it meant to protect and serve,” said Chris Gatti. “He loved people. He loved the folks he worked with.”
Gatti leaves behind a wife, his parents and three siblings.
Hundreds gathered to say goodbye to Trooper Gatti at West Jackson Baptist Church Monday.
“He had a professionalism about himself and a work ethic that you don’t see in many 24 year olds," Sgt. Jamie Jarret with THP said.
“As governor it’s one of my highest responsibilities to provide for the protection and the security of every person in the state of Tennessee and that would be impossible to do without men like Matt Gatti," Tennesse Governor Bill Lee said.
Law enforcement from across the country paid their respects.
“Doesn’t matter what state you’re from, what part of the country. We all do the same job. We all have families. We’re all working men and women,” Sgt. Dallas Root with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
“Doesn’t matter whether you’re from California, Tennessee or Texas we all want to keep the public safe,” Chief Omar Watson of the California Highway Patrols said.
“He’s very deserving of that because Matt gave his life, he paid the ultimate sacrifice to help others," Sgt. Jarret said.
Jarrett was Gatti’s direct supervisor. He said Gatti was a religious man who lived to protect and serve.
“He was a very beautiful individual. Had a very great character, a Christ-likeness about himself. A gentle and warm spirit,” he said.
As both his family and law enforcement family say their final goodbyes - they find peace in knowing he’s safe.
“He loved god and knowing that he’s in the hands of god it makes this a little bit more bearable," Jarret said.