Charlestown Police Department

Pursuit Claims Life of Charlestown City Officer

Southern Indiana – On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at approximately 10:20 pm, Clark County Central Dispatch notified the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg of a pursuit involving a suspect vehicle and the Charlestown City Police Department in Clark County, Indiana.  This pursuit continued into Scott County and resulted in a crash, claiming the life of Officer Benton Bertram of the Charlestown City Police Department. 

The preliminary investigation reveals that the pursuit began near Charlestown, Indiana when Officer Bertram attempted to stop a teal colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation. The suspect vehicle fled north on State Road #3 and continued into Scott County. 

The pursuit continued north on State Road # 3 and approached the east intersection of State Road # 3 and State Road #56 east of Scottsburg.  At that time, Officer Bertram’s vehicle crossed over State Road #56 and left the roadway, striking a tree in the front yard of a nearby residence.  Other responding units remained at the scene of the crash and rendered aid to Officer Bertram.  Officer Bertram succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by the Scott County Coroner’s Office. 

The suspect vehicle and the driver, Benjamin Eads, 35, from 3711 Lanes Road, Freedom, Indiana, were later located and apprehended in Clark County.  At this time, the crash and pursuit are still under investigation.  Indiana State Police crash reconstructionist and detectives remained on scene until early morning hours.  State Road #56 remained closed until approximately 4:30 am.   

Benjamin Eads

Benjamin Eads has been preliminarily charged with the following: In Scott County, Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Death – Level 2 Felony.  In Clark County, Resisting Law Enforcement – Level 6 Felony and Auto Theft – Level 6 Felony. Benjamin Eads was transported and remanded into the custody of the Scott County Jail.  

Officer Benton Bertram, 33, was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department. 

Mayor Bob Hall of Charlestown made the following statement, “Charlestown suffered a great lost last evening of one its Police Officers in the line duty.”

We have a small close knit department and it is like losing one of our family. It was comforting to be with the members of the our department as well as State and County officers the last few hours consoling one another. I got a greater sense of the meaning of the “Brotherhood” these men and women feel for each other.

We owe them our respect and gratitude, because everyday they put their safety (tonight a life) on the line to help keep us safe. God Bless those who serve.”

Hall also stated that further information would be released later today.

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