DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A state trooper was struck and killed by a vehicle in a crash on Interstate 69 just south of Auburn, according to Indiana State Police (ISP).
During a press conference Friday, the officer killed was identified as Master Trooper James R. Bailey of Auburn.
Bailey, 50, of Auburn, Indiana, served with the Indiana State Police for more than fifteen years.
The preliminary investigation by the Indiana State Police indicates that at approximately 4:30p.m. this afternoon, Trooper Bailey was assisting other troopers on I-69 with traffic backup as a result of weather related vehicle crashes near the 326 mile marker south of Auburn.
At that time, Trooper Bailey became aware of an individual driving at a high rate of speed evading an officer from the Fort Wayne Police Department on I-69 approaching his location. Trooper Bailey attempted to de-escalate that vehicle pursuit by deploying stop sticks. Trooper Bailey was struck by the suspect vehicle and critically injured. Emergency medical care was rendered at the scene and he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The suspect driver involved in this incident, Terry Dewaine Sands II, 42, of Marion, IN, was taken into custody and has been incarcerated in the DeKalb County Jail on a preliminary charge of Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Death to Law Enforcement Officer, a Level 2 Felony.
Trooper Bailey is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. Family notifications have been made.
On Saturday, a memorial using Trooper Bailey’s patrol car sat in front of the entrance to Indiana State Police Post No. 22 at 5811 Ellison Road on Fort Wayne’s southwest side.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement after Trooper Bailey’s death.
“Our prayers are with Master Trooper James R. Bailey’s family, fellow troopers, and all of Indiana State Police as we learn of his death in the line of service. His legacy will live on, and his memory will never be forgotten. Janet and I send the family our condolences for the loved ones of Master Trooper Bailey.” Gov. Holcomb said.
“This is a tremendously sad day for the entire Indiana State Police family. We will band together as we always do in support of Trooper Bailey’s family, friends and co-workers”, said Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter.
On Saturday, Jerry Vandeveer, president of the Law Enforcement/Firefighters Memorial of Allen County, said the organization will be adding Trooper Bailey’s name to the Law Enforcement monument at 1001 N. Wells St. by summer 2023.
Trooper Bailey will also be honored at the 2023 Police Officer Memorial Ceremony on May 12, Vandeveer said.