DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. — An Indiana State Police trooper was hit and killed by a suspect evading police Friday on Interstate 69 just south of Auburn, Indiana.

The crash, ISP said, claimed the life of Master Trooper James R. Bailey, 50, of Auburn, IN. Bailey served with ISP for more than fifteen years, according to a news release.

Trooper Bailey is survived by his wife, son, and daughter, ISP said. Family notifications have been made.

The Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation has established an official memorial fund to honor Master Trooper James Bailey. Donations can be made here.Donations can also be made on Venmo at @indiana-fallen-heroes

Crash investigation

A preliminary investigation by ISP shows that at around 4:30 p.m., Trooper Bailey was assisting other troopers on I-69 with traffic backup as a result of weather-related vehicle crashes near the 326-mile marker when the incident occurred.

At that time, ISP said Trooper Bailey became aware that a person driving at a high rate of speed and evading an officer from the Fort Wayne Police Department on I-69 approaching his location. 

Trooper Bailey attempted to de-escalate that vehicle pursuit by deploying stop sticks, ISP said, but was struck by the suspect vehicle and critically injured.

Emergency medical care was rendered at the scene and Bailey was rushed to a Fort Wayne hospital where he died from his injuries.

Response from leaders

“This is a tremendously sad day for the entire Indiana State Police family,” ISP Superintendent Doug Carter said. “We will band together as we always do in support of Trooper Bailey’s family, friends and co-workers.”

In addition to ISP leadership, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb also issued the following statement:

“Our prayers are with Master Trooper James R. Bailey’s family, fellow troopers, and all of Indiana State Police as we learn of his death in the line of service. His legacy will live on, and his memory will never be forgotten. Janet and I send the family our condolences for the loved ones of Master Trooper Bailey.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb

Suspect information

The suspect driver involved in this incident was identified by ISP as 42-year-old Terry Dewaine Sands II of Marion, IN.

Sands II, ISP said, was taken into custody and has been incarcerated in the DeKalb County Jail on a preliminary charge of Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Death to a Law Enforcement Officer, which is a Level 2 Felony.

The investigation into the crash, ISP said, is ongoing. The Dekalb County Prosecutor will review Sands II’s case to determine if more charges are necessary.