Whitley County K-9 officer dies after chase ends in fiery crash

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) — The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the loss of one of their own this evening.

According to Whitley County Sheriff Marcus Gattton , K-9 Officer Cas died in a crash on U.S. 30 Wednesday afternoon. Multiple sources confirm the crash was during a pursuit that came to an end near the intersection of U.S. 30 and 450 W.

An eyewitness tells ABC21 he saw a black sedan speeding down U.S. 30 and soon after he saw 6 police cars following in pursuit. The witness said he later saw the same black sedan in the middle of the highway with heavy front end damage. He said he also saw a white car off to the side of the road on fire.

K-9 Cas’ partner Deputy Archbold did not suffer any injuries in the crash, according to the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.

Update:

The Indiana State Police released the following information about the pursuit/crash:

“A multi-county pursuit that began in Kosciusko County ended in in a fiery crash that took the life of a Whitley County K9.

This afternoon, around 3:30 p.m., the Plymouth Police Department put out a dispatch of an armed carjacking of a black 2016 Chrysler that occurred near the LifePlex gym near US30 and Pioneer Drive. Shortly thereafter an Indiana State Trooper saw the vehicle travelling eastbound on US30 near Foxfarm Road. Once other police officers arrived a high-risk stop was attempted near Meijer Drive on US30 in Kosciusko County. The Chrysler pulled to the side of the road and stopped and the passenger got out of the Chrysler but the driver sped off, continuing eastbound on US30.

The driver of the Chrysler continued eastbound on US30, refusing to stop while being chased by officers from several police departments with the pursuit eventually entering Whitley County. A Whitley County Deputy positioned his car, a 2019 Dodge Charger, in the intersection of US30 and CR 450 West and set up stop sticks in an attempt to stop the Chrysler from fleeing. The driver of the Chrysler attempted to avoid the stop sticks and collided broadside with the Whitley County Dodge Charger in the passenger side. The collision caused the Charger to go into westbound lanes if US30 and burst into flames. Officers were unable to get the K9 patrol dog out of the Charger and it died on scene.  The deputy was unharmed.

The driver of the Chrysler received minor injuries and is being treated at a local hospital.

Both eastbound and westbound lanes of US30 remained closed for the investigation and removal of the vehicles.  US30 is expected to open at approximately 7:00 p.m.

This pursuit and crash involved officers from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Warsaw Police Department. Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Pierceton Police Department, Winona Lake Police Department, and Indiana State Police.”

Ian Hoover

Ian Hoover

Ian Hoover is the Content Manager of Fort Wayne's NBC and ABC21. His focus is managerial oversight of content including working with reporters on elements for their stories and with producers for deeper content in newscasts; long-range planning and content development; editorial meeting oversight; and special projects management.
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