Indiana officer killed after crashing police car during chase

Benton Bertram/Photo from Charlestown Police Department

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. – A southern Indiana police officer died after crashing his squad car during a pursuit Wednesday night.

According to Indiana State Police, the chase began near Charlestown in Clark County around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday and made its way into Scott County. Sgt. Benton Bertram of the Charlestown Police Department tried to stop a teal 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation, but the car wouldn’t pull over and headed north on State Road 3 into Scott County.

As the pursuit continued, Bertram approached the intersection of State Road 3 and State Road 56 near Scottsburg; his vehicle crossed State Road 56 and went off the road, hitting a tree in the front yard of a residence.

Other responding units stayed to help Bertram, but the officer succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Bertram, 33, was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department. According to the department’s website, he worked in the K9 Division.

Benjamin Eads

Police later located the Corolla and its driver, 35-year-old Benjamin Eads of Freedom, Indiana, in Clark County. He faces multiple charges in both Clark and Scott counties, including resisting law enforcement causing death, resisting law enforcement and auto theft.

He was booked into the Scott County Jail.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, police said, and State Road 56 was closed near the crash scene until about 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Other responding agencies included the Jeffersonville Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Scott County EMS, Scottsburg City Fire Department, Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department and Scott County Coroner’s Office.

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