Authorities say Mississippi National Guard Col. Robert Stacy Coleman was killed when his motorcycle crashed on Interstate 40 in eastern Tennessee.
A report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the crash occurred Friday near Crossville in the eastern part of that state. Coleman, 44, of Brandon, was traveling east on a 2006 BMW motorcycle when a car pulled out from an emergency lane. Coleman could not slow down in time and struck the rear of the vehicle, the report said.
No citations or charges have been filed, and the driver of the car was not hurt.
Coleman led the Jackson-based 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group in combat in Afghanistan.
"Coleman was one of the Mississippi National Guard's best soldiers and most promising leaders," said Maj. Gen. Harold Cross, the state's adjutant general. "I would predict very confidently that Stacy would have been a general officer by age 50, without question," Cross said Sunday.
Cross visited the 2nd Battalion in Afghanistan when it was deployed there from 2005-06.
"Coleman was a Lieutenant Colonel then. I have never seen a commander more highly respected by his troops," Cross said.
Survivors include his wife, Lt. Col. Debra Coleman, of the Mississippi National Guard, who was deployed to Ecuador when her husband was killed. The couple have two small children.