Officers react to fatal bike crash - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Officers react to fatal bike crash

State Police Lieutenant Gary Dudley State Police Lieutenant Gary Dudley
Lake County Sheriff Department Chief Gary Martin Lake County Sheriff Department Chief Gary Martin
Officers investigate deadly bike crash Officers investigate deadly bike crash
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Lynsay Clutter/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - State Police say a charity bicycle ride will not continue as police mourn the loss of two officers killed in a crash. They were in a group that was biking 1,100 miles around the state.

Tuesday morning, the officers left Kentland in Newton County, heading to Terre Haute. The group biked south on US Highway 41 and continued onto State Road 63, but just two miles past I-74, near Perrysville, the chain reaction collision happened.

State police say there were several witnesses, as well as bike riders themselves, who saw the crash, but they are still asking for the public's help. Officers are asking anyone who saw the riders just before the accident to come forward.

State Police Detectives have seen crashes like this before, mangled bicycles and debris on the highway, but to investigate the deaths of their own fallen brothers, is their worst nightmare.

"You can just imagine how we feel. There's a range of feelings. We're doing the best we can to get through them. We're doing our best to do an objective investigation and that's what we're going to do," said Indiana State Police Sergeant Joe Watts.

State Police Lieutenant Gary Dudley and Lake County Sheriff Department Chief Gary Martin were killed in the crash. Retired IPD officer Spencer Moore was injured and is hospitalized. Officers say they are on auto-pilot, holding back emotion during the investigation.

"Those are our buddies. Those are their buddies. So, everybody is doing as well as expected," said Sergeant Watts.

The group was traveling on State Road 63 on the right hand side of the southbound lanes when a Town Aire Freight truck came up from behind.

"The freight truck striking the support vehicle in the rear thrust the support vehicle into ten cyclists," said Sergeant Watts.

Investigators aren't certain yet how fast the trucks were traveling where the speed limit is 60 mph. Police say the support truck carried a warning sign and flashed traffic safety lights.

"I've talked with many survivors on my way down here and they're just, they just don't know what to say. The whole Indiana law enforcement community and their families are just devastated by this loss today (Tuesday)," said Danny Overley of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The accident occurred halfway through the cyclists' statewide journey to raise money for the families of fallen officers. Lieutenant Dudley and Chief Martin will now be honored for giving their lives in the line of duty as well.

Tuesday night, riders met in a Terre Haute hotel room to discuss experiences and decided not to continue on the bike ride. Police say their will be a presentation of the money raised.

The drivers of the box truck, Gary Adams of Owensboro, Kentucky, and support van, Rocky Bumpas of Mooresville, were treated and released at a nearby hospital.

Sergeant Watts said it could take several weeks for investigators to complete their review of the crash and submit a report to the Vermillion County prosecutor's office for a decision on whether any charges would be filed.

The ride began August 16 and was to end August 28 in Indianapolis at Crown Hill Cemetery's Heroes of Public Safety section.

The cyclists planned to ride 102 miles Tuesday and had gone about halfway when they stopped for lunch. They were a couple miles back into the ride when the crash happened.

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