2nd Indiana state trooper struck and killed by fleeing vehicle, officials say

Jun 29, 2023, 6:02 AM | Updated: 2:10 pm

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana state trooper was struck and killed by a stolen vehicle being chased by police in suburban Indianapolis, officials said.

Trooper Aaron Smith was hit about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday while trying to place stop sticks on Ronald Reagan Parkway, north of Interstate 70 in Plainfield, state police said. Smith, 33, of Franklin, died after being taken to an Indianapolis hospital.

Three people from the vehicle were treated at Indianapolis hospitals for injuries. Two young men were jailed — an 18-year-old suspected of driving the car on a preliminary murder charge and a 19-year-old on a preliminary auto theft charge, state police said. A 15-year-old girl with them in the car was listed as a missing person from Missouri and will be turned over to authorities there.

State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said investigators would be reviewing dashcam and body camera video of the crash. The Hendricks County prosecutor will decide on criminal charges from the chase and the death of Smith, who is survived by his wife.

Carter said he remembered Smith from when he went through police recruit training in 2018, calling him “a shining star within the state police.”

Smith is the second Indiana trooper to die this year after being struck by a car while deploying stop sticks along an interstate highway. Master Trooper James Bailey, 50, was killed March 3 in the median of Interstate 69 in northeastern Indiana’s DeKalb County when a driver fleeing other officers struck him. That driver is charged with murder, resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while taking a controlled substance resulting in death.

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2nd Indiana state trooper struck and killed by fleeing vehicle, officials say