Fort Wayne, IN – An Indiana State Police (ISP) trooper was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday night when a fleeing suspect crashed into him while he was trying to deploy stop sticks during a vehicle chase.
The incident occurred on the west side of Indianapolis on Ronald Reagan Parkway just north of Interstate 70, WPTA reported.
Investigators said officers were pursuing a stolen car when 33-year-old ISP Trooper Aaron Smith attempted to end the chase by deploying stop sticks at about 8:40 p.m.
But as Trooper Smith was deploying the tire-deflation devices onto the roadway, the suspect vehicle slammed into him, throwing him into the air, WPTA reported.
The ISP confirmed the critically-injured trooper was rushed to Eskenazi Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries, according to WTHR.
Investigators said the driver and two passengers inside the suspect vehicle were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, WPTA reported.
This is a look at the scene around 10:20pm. ISP says they have reconstruction crews and investigators on the scene right now.
Police expect to keep this stretch of Ronald Reagan Parkway shutdown for the next few hours. pic.twitter.com/pBDldiDQNO
— Rachael Krause (@RKrause_News) June 29, 2023
Their identities were not immediately released and it is unclear what charges may be pending against them.
The investigation remained ongoing overnight, WXIN reported.
Police said the collision was captured on video.
HEARTBREAKING: Our Indy FOP and Law Enforcement partners were Honored to Stand alongside our sisters and brothers of the Indiana State Police as they mourn the Tragic Death of Trooper Aaron Smith
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) June 29, 2023
Trooper Smith served the ISP for nearly five years, WPTA reported.
He earned a degree in aviation management from Indiana State University with a minor in unmanned air systems prior to joining the ISP, according to WTHR.
Trooper Smith also served in the Army National Guard.
“He was one of those guys that stood out,” ISP Superintendent Douglas Carter said in the wake of the young trooper’s death, according to WXIN. “Not to be cliché, but he was a shining star for the Indiana State Police.”
RIP. Indiana State Trooper Aaron Smith was killed when he was struck by the suspect vehicle while deploying stop sticks during a stolen vehicle pursuit. He is survived by his wife. #rip #hero #TrooperAaronSmith #IndianaStatePolice #lawenforcement #thinblueline #bluelivesmatter pic.twitter.com/RpcH3nJz1A
— Protecting the Blue (@protectingblue) June 29, 2023
“This is a tremendously sad day for the entire Indiana State Police family,” Superintendent Carter continued. “We will band together as we always do in support of Trooper Smith’s family, friends and co-workers.”
Trooper Smith leaves behind his wife.
“I would trade places if I could take away her pain,” Superintendent Carter said, according to WTHR.
A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the fallen hero’s body to the Marion County Coroner’s Office early Thursday morning, WTHR reported.
Trooper Aaron Smith being escorted from Eskenazi Hospital to the Marion County Coroner’s Office flanked by his brothers and sisters in blue.@IMPDnews @ISPChiefPIO @ISPIndianapolis pic.twitter.com/WUdRn47Y28
— Indiana State Police (@IndStatePolice) June 29, 2023
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