UPDATE (6/29/23): Two individuals were arrested Thursday morning in connection to the deadly incident involving the trooper. ISP says the driver identified as 18-year-old Eddie P. Jones, Jr. of Missouri was preliminarily charged with murder, Level 1 Felony. The passenger was identified as 19-year-old DeMareon l. Curry was preliminarily charged with auto theft, Level 5 Felony.
A 15-year-old female passenger, listed as missing from Missouri was turned over to authorities but not charged in connection to the incident.
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana State Police trooper has died after being hit by a suspect’s car during a stolen vehicle pursuit on the city’s west side.
According to ISP officials on scene, the collision occurred around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on Interstate 70 eastbound near 6 Points Road on the west side of Indianapolis.
ISP Master Trooper Nick Klingkammer said that the incident began as a police chase after troopers with ISP’s Indianapolis district spotted a stolen car on the city’s southwest side.
Troopers attempted to pull over the car, but ISP said a pursuit began. Troopers then chased the suspect vehicle to Ronald Reagan Parkway, where one trooper was attempting to deploy stop sticks to stop the car and terminate the pursuit.
That trooper was then struck by the suspect vehicle and thrown into the air, according to ISP. The suspect vehicle, Klingkammer said, then crashed after hitting the trooper.
Klingkammer said that the injured trooper was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition. Later, around 11 p.m., ISP announced outside the hospital that the trooper had been pronounced dead.
ISP Superintendent Doug Carter identified the deceased trooper as Aaron Smith, a trooper that joined the department in 2018. He is survived by a loving wife, Carter said.
“He was one of those guys that stood out,” Carter said. “Not to be cliché but he was a shining star for the Indiana State Police.”
Gov. Eric Holcomb released a statement about Smith:
“Janet and I offer our deepest condolences to the wife, family and close friends of Trooper Aaron Smith.
“Trooper Smith lived and died a hero. His everlasting inspiration is a painful reminder of what the best among us sacrifice everyday when they leave the house. I encourage every Hoosier so inclined to right now stop and shower Trooper Smith’s bride with prayer and be there for his fellow law enforcement members so shaken by this heartbreaking loss.”Gov. Eric Holcomb
According to an ISP post from 2018, Smith was a native of Whiteland and a 2008 graduate of Whiteland High School. He joined the Army National Guard in 2011 and joined ISP in 2018. He previously worked in insurance and construction. His photo, via ISP, is below:
Near the collision scene, shown on a Department of Transportation camera and from our crews below, state police, IMPD, Plainfield PD, Hendricks Fire and EMS crews are responding. Klingkammer said that detectives and crash reconstructionists are responding as well.
“This is not only a crash investigation, but also a criminal investigation,” Klingkammer said.
In an update around 11 p.m., ISP Superintendent Carter said that the criminal investigation has become quite complex. He also said that there is video of the incident that will be used to investigate.
The suspect driver and passengers of the vehicle, which include an adult and a juvenile, were taken to local hospitals and are expected to survive.