KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Lieutenant Danny Thomas worked with Trooper Michael Slagle off and on for 25 years. He said Slagle made friends everywhere he went.
"He was a dedicated trooper that liked people and people liked him. He obviously had an enforcement job to do, but he did it well. And he would actually make friends out of people he would stop trying to alter their driving habits, you know?" said Thomas.
Trooper Adam Bowman said he always looked up to Slagle.
"Down to earth, good hearted, couldn't ask for a better person. Easy to talk to, always quick with a joke, always had a smile on his face," said Bowman.
In fact, he said Trooper Slagle inspired him to join the Highway Patrol.
"I was raised in Union county and Mike was a trooper here when I was growing up in high school. And he kinda got my start - I kinda idolized him," he said.
It's part of the reason his loss is so tough on him.
"He can't be replaced, you know. Just a great person, always easy to talk to, always a good listener, too," said Bowman.
Slagle was also a hard worker.
"He didn't question anything you asked him to do, he would go beyond the call of duty in everything he did. He was an excellent man," said Thomas.
A man who will be greatly missed by his coworkers, family and friends.
Slagle died of natural causes after his cruiser slid off the road on Friday. A firetruck trying to help him then crashed, landing on top of the car.