Charlestown police officer dies in Wednesday pursuit

Sellersburg, In. — A report from the Indiana State Police says a Charlestown City Police Department officer was killed in a pursuit Wednesday evening.

At 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.  The pursuit continued into Scott County and resulted in a crash, claiming the life of Officer Benton Bertram of the Charlestown City Police Department.

The investigation shows the pursuit began near Charlestown 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 Roads 3 & 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 a.m.

Benjamin Eads has been preliminarily charged with resisting law enforcement causing death, resisting law enforcement and auto theft. He is being held in the Scott County Jail.

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

The Indiana State Police were assisted by units from the Charlestown City Police Department, the Jeffersonville City Police Department, the Clark County Sherriff’s Department, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Scott County EMS, The Scottsburg City Fire Department, the Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department, and the Scott County Coroner’s Office.