Ind. police officer killed in car crash during pursuit

Officer Benton Bertram struck a tree in the front yard of a residence during the pursuit, succumbing to his injuries at the scene

Duty Death: Benton Bertram - [Charlestown, Indiana]

End of Service: 12/12/2018


By The Evening News and The Tribune

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — A Charlestown police officer died last night after a pursuit beginning in Clark County ended in a crash in Scott County.

Indiana State Police were alerted to the pursuit and crash around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday. Charlestown Officer Benton Bertram died in the crash.

The preliminary investigation shows the pursuit began near Charlestown when Bertram attempted to stop a teal colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation, according to ISP. The suspect vehicle fled north on Ind. 3 and continued into Scott County.

The pursuit continued north on Ind. 3 and approached the east intersection with Ind. 56 east of Scottsburg. At that time, Bertram's vehicle crossed over Ind. 56 and left the roadway, striking a tree in the front yard of a nearby residence. Other responding units remained at the scene of the crash and rendered aid to Bertram. He succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Scott County Coroner's Office.

The suspect vehicle and the driver, Benjamin Eads, 35, from Lanes Road in Freedom, Indiana, were later located and apprehended in Clark County.

The crash and pursuit are still under investigation. ISP crash reconstructionist and detectives remained on scene until early morning hours. Ind. 56 remained closed until approximately 4:30 am.

Eads has been preliminarily charged with the following in Scott County: Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Death Level 2 Felony. In Clark County, he is preliminarily charged with Resisting Law Enforcement Level 6 Felony and Auto Theft Level 6 Felony. Eads was transported and remanded into the custody of the Scott County Jail.

Bertram, 33, was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department.

The Indiana State Police were assisted by units from the Charlestown City Police Department, the Jeffersonville City Police Department, the Clark County Sherriff's Department, the Scott County Sheriff's Department, Scott County EMS, The Scottsburg City Fire Department, the Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Scott County Coroner's Office.

©2018 The Evening News and The Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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