Indiana police officer killed in crash while chasing suspect

Sgt. Ben Bertram was nine-year veteran of Charlestown Police Department

Witness who saw crash: 'They tried their best when they got him out of the car'

SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - A police officer was killed in a crash following a chase with a suspect near Scottsburg, Indiana.

The crash was reported around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, near the intersection of State Road 3 and State Road 56 in Scott County.

The pursuit began in Clark County, near Charlestown, at about 10:20 p.m., after Charlestown Police Sgt. Ben Bertram tried to stop a suspect. That suspect, 35-year-old Benjamin Eads, wouldn’t stop, fled north on State Road 3 and continued into Scott County, according to a release from Indiana State Police.

Officials saluted the officer's body being loaded into an ambulance.
Officials saluted the officer's body being loaded into an ambulance. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The officer's car apparently left the road and hit a tree. It is unmarked.
The officer's car apparently left the road and hit a tree. It is unmarked. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Benjamin Eads now faces charges in both Clark and Scott counties following a chase that left a Charlestown police officer dead.
Benjamin Eads now faces charges in both Clark and Scott counties following a chase that left a Charlestown police officer dead.

As the chase approached State Road 56 near Scottsburg, “Bertram’s vehicle crossed over State Road #56 and left the roadway, striking a tree in the front yard of a nearby residence,” the release said.

Bertram, 33, a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department, died at the scene. As his body was loaded into an ambulance, officers and emergency crews, with heavy hearts, formed two lines and saluted.

Officers from multiple agencies remained at the crash site until about 4:30 a.m.

Eads now faces charges in both Scott and Clark counties and could face additional charges. He’s currently in custody at the Scott County Jail.

A witness who lives near where the crash took place said she saw Bertram’s colleagues try their hardest to save his life.

“They tried their best when they got him out of the car," Sondra Smith told WAVE 3 News' Kayla Vanmeter. "They were taking turns for about 45, 50 minutes trying to bring him back to life, but he just, it was too late, he was gone. They did put their best effort into it.”

WAVE 3 News will continue updating this story throughout the morning.

UPDATE: The Charlestown officer killed in a crash with a suspect, and that suspect, have been identified. Here are some new details on this sad story >> https://bit.ly/2CbxNAN

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Thursday, December 13, 2018

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