Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Highway Tragity in Ind. (Indy Star News 082362006) 2 Officers are killed during Bicycle Ride. Ex-Police Chief, State Trooper Die.

This just in, out of Perrysville Ind. Two Police Officers were killed in one Chain Reaction Traffic collision, that sent a Truck Plowing into a group of cyclists on a Cross-State Charity Bicycle Ride for families of Fallen Comrades. The collision hurt three people and killed two Police Officers. Retired Police Officer Gary Martin, and State Police Lt. Gary Dudley. The Retired Officer was a Former Chief of Police for Lake County Ind. The whole thing was supposed to be for a great cause and it was for a great cause. Just now that it got caught up and Haunted with this Freak traffic Accident, that left the two dead.
My heart goes out to the families of the fallen Officers and the People that were involved. Not just in the collision but in the Investigation part of it too. I know how hard it is to Investigate such a crash, and my heart prayers go out to you.
Highway tragedy
2 officers are killed during bike ride
Ex-police chief, state trooper die
August 23, 2006

PERRYSVILLE, Ind. -- Two police officers died Tuesday in a chain-reaction crash that sent a truck plowing into a group of cyclists on a cross-state charity ride for the families of their fallen comrades.
The crash, which also hurt three people, left a 300-foot trail of mangled bicycles, black shoes, broken truck lights and other debris along Ind. 63 near the Illinois border.
Gary Dudley, an Indiana State Police lieutenant from Indianapolis, and Gary Martin, the former Lake County police chief, were killed after a freight truck smashed into their support vehicle on the four-lane highway near Perrysville, a farm town of 500 residents about five miles east of the Illinois border.
One other rider, Spencer Moore, a retired Indianapolis police officer, was injured and airlifted to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill. He was alert and is expected to make a full recovery, Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts said late Tuesday.
The horrific crash occurred about 12:30 p.m. when a freight truck hit the back of the smaller support truck following the riders on Ind. 63. State Police 1st Sgt. Brian Olehy said the incident unfolded about two miles south of the last I-74 exit in Indiana.
That impact sent the smaller truck into a pack of 10 riders. Lt. George Powell of the Perrysville Volunteer Fire Department said several of the surviving bicyclists were weeping when he arrived at the site.
"It was just a bad, bad situation -- one of those calls you hope you never have to come upon," Powell said. "I've seen a lot of bad situations but never involving an officer."
The driver of the larger truck, Gary Adams, Owensboro, Ky., and support truck driver Rocky Bumpas, Mooresville, were taken to St. Vincent Williamsport Hospital in Williamsport, Ind. Bumpas is the father-in-law of one of the riders.
State Police said it could take investigators several weeks to complete their review and forward any recommendations to the Vermillion County prosecutor's office for possible criminal charges.
Police would not comment about what might have caused the collision. Late Tuesday, investigators issued a call for any witnesses to contact them.
Flashing lights and a sign that read "Caution, cyclists ahead" were displayed on the support truck, an Enterprise rental.
The bicyclists were taking part in a 13-day, 1,058-mile ride to raise money for Indiana Concerns of Police Survivors, a support group for families of officers killed in the line of duty.
These cyclists are among those often called upon by their departments to console families when an officer dies on duty, said Danny Overley of the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police's critical incident team.
"This is a group of individuals who are using their vacation time and their down time . . . riding in this heat so the survivors and loved ones of officers who are killed will not be forgotten," Overley said. "This will be new ground for us."
The surviving cyclists left the scene without comment. Watts said the remainder of the charity ride has been canceled.
Nine riders were current or retired officers from the Lake County Sheriff's and Merrillville, Bloomington, Fishers and Indianapolis Police departments. The lone civilian on the journey Tuesday was the grandson of a police officer killed on duty.
Tuesday marked the seventh day of their journey -- a 102-mile ride that began at 7 a.m. in Kentland and was supposed to end at 5:30 p.m. in Terre Haute.
They had stopped for lunch at a truck stop near I-74 and Ind. 63 and had been back on the road about 15 minutes when their journey was cut short by the crash.
Dudley, Indianapolis, and Martin, Merrillville, died at the scene.
The speed limit is 60 mph. Police closed portions of the highway for more than seven hours, and officials were reconstructing the accident to try to tell whether the freight truck driver was speeding.
The truck belongs to South Bend-based Towne Air Freight.
"We want to express our deepest sympathies to the families of the individuals involved in this accident," company President Tom Downey said in a written statement. Downey said his company would cooperate fully with the investigation.
Towne Air Freight Vice President Jerry Scott said the company has no further comment.
Dudley, a state trooper since December 1979, was commander of the State Police Recruit Training Academy. Martin retired after 25 years with the Gary Police Department. He also served three years as chief of police for the Lake County Sheriff's Department.
Both men had participated in fundraising bicycle rides since at least 2002, when they traveled 700 miles from Indiana to Washington, D.C.
In 2004, the riders decided to travel the perimeter of Indiana so they could meet survivors and visit grave sites of officers killed on duty, said Molly Winters, chapter director of the Indiana COPS.
"You ask these bike riders why they do it, they tell you, 'We do it because it means that much to us. We want to let society know that we will never forget our fallen comrades,' " Winters said.
The ride was scheduled to end Monday in Crown Hill Cemetery's section for public heroes.

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