Jeep enthusiasts ride in honor of fallen LMPD officer

Derby City Jeep Club rides to honor late LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The heartbreak following the death of LMPD detective Deidre Mengedoht has yet to fade for many across Louisville.

A group of jeep enthusiasts paid tribute to her by shifting into gear and showing her family some love Saturday.

Dogs, laughs and, of course, jeeps are all what you’d expect on a Saturday morning as the Derby City Jeep Club gathers together, but a picture of Mengedoht on the dash shows why this ride may be one of the toughest the club has taken in a while.

“This is kind of like what we do," organizer Alisa Salvestrini said. "I mean, when something bad like this happens, and with Deidre, this is just heart breaking for all of us. We just want to do something.”

The group and others from around the area are spending the day showing the family of Mengedoht just how much she meant to them.

“She was an awesome person, always cared so much about the community," John Matala, a friend of Mengedoht, said. "That was always her number one.”

Matala said Mengedoht has helped the club with traffic work before, but he has helped her too, with an escort once or twice.

“We went to high school together," Matala said. "Yeah. I used to drive her home from school.”

He said the two were friends for twenty years.

Saturday, without her, many said they’re feeling pain, but they are not hopeless.

Group members are doing what they love to take action, and raise money for Mengedoht’s son.

“We’re just heartbroken over Preston and we just want to do something for him,” Salvestrini said.

As jeeps left Cox Park in a line to visit the places that meant most to his mother, many said they hoped they were showing him that despite facing the greatest of losses, his family is now bigger than ever.

Organizers said Detective Mengedoht escorted the group on a Back the Blue ride two years ago honoring fallen LMPD detective Jason Schweitzer.

The Louisville Metro Police Foundation has set up a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for Detective Mengedoht’s 9-year-old son. You can donate by clicking on the “donate” button in the post here.

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