Scottsburg, IN – Charlestown Police Department Sergeant Benton Bertram died in the line of duty on Wednesday night, after his patrol vehicle crashed into a tree during a vehicle pursuit.
According to the Indiana State Police, the incident began at approximately 10:20 p.m., when Sgt. Bertram attempted to stop the driver of a teal-colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation, the News and Tribune reported.
The driver of the Toyota, later identified as 35-year-old Benjamin Eads, refused to pull over, and took of northbound on State Road 3 into Scott County, WXIN reported.
Sgt. Bertram, 33, pursued Eads as he sped down State Road 3, but lost control of his patrol car at the intersection with State Road 56 near Scottsburg.
The sergeant’s cruiser then left the roadway, and collided with a tree in the front yard of a residence.
His fellow officers rushed to his aid, but Sgt. Bertram died at the scene, police said.
His K9 partner was injured in the collision, and was taken to a local veterinary hospital for treatment, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Police later apprehended Eads in Clark County, WXIN reported.
He has been charged with multiple offenses in two separate jurisdictions, including resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement causing death, and auto theft.
Sgt. Bertram served his department for nine years, and was a valued member of the close-knit community, Charlestown Police Chief Keith McDonald told the News and Tribune.
“This has been a very big blow to the department,” Chief McDonald said. “He was somebody that other officers looked up to…and we’re going to honor him the best way we can.”
Sgt. Bertram leaves behind his parents, sister, dogs, and his K9 partner, according to his obituary..
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Charlestown Police Department Sergeant Benton Bertram, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.