In the death of Indiana State Police Trooper Aaron Smith on Wednesday night, two people have been charged with preliminary murder. The driver of the stolen 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, Eddie P. Jones, Jr., 18, of Sikeston, Missouri, has been charged with first-degree murder.
DeMareon L. Curry, 19, of Sikeston, Missouri, is charged with motor theft, a Level 5 felony, as a passenger. The second passenger will be handed over to authorities; she is a 15-year-old girl who has been reported missing from Missouri. There are no criminal charges being brought against her.
Jones Jr.’s stolen vehicle gave chase when state officers tried to pull it over in the 2900 block of Kentucky Ave. Smith was attempting to deploy stop sticks near the entrance to the I-70 Westbound on-ramp while troopers pursued the suspect car on Ronald Reagan Parkway.
The vehicle swerves toward Smith as he throws the stop sticks, as seen on nearby INDOT video. Smith takes a blow that sends him flying. After hitting the trooper, the suspect lost control of his vehicle and crashed.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Two people have been preliminarily charged in the death of Trooper Aaron Smith’s that occurred Wednesday evening.https://t.co/f5OXmtsZi7
— FOX59 News (@FOX59) June 29, 2023
As shown on INDOT footage, other state troopers immediately rushed to aid Smith. Unfortunately, he passed away from his wounds shortly after arriving at Eskenazi Hospital. Aaron Smith, a trooper, was 33 years old.
Suspects’ automobile slammed through a guardrail and fell down an embankment after hitting it at the entrance to westbound Interstate 70. The bottom of the hill is littered with shards of glass, auto components, and even a Sikeston, Missouri, receipt and employee ID.
Many people from all throughout the state have reached out to Smith’s loved ones with tributes and sympathies after his passing. On Thursday afternoon, a Plainfield police officer drove to the accident site, stepped out of his car while it was still raining, and left flowers there.
The tweet below verifies the news:
WATCH: We’re here at the I-70 WB on ramp from Ronald Reagan Pkwy where State Trooper Aaron Smith was hit and killed last night. A Plainfield police officer just pulled up, got out in the rain and placed flowers at the crash site. @FOX59 @CBS4Indy pic.twitter.com/WeXLRlvB58
— Eric Graves (@ReporterEric) June 29, 2023
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These preliminary charges will be reviewed for possible further criminal charges by the Hendricks County Prosecutor before a final decision is made. Jones’ mother reported her son’s Chevrolet stolen on June 22, six days before the deadly crash, according to Captain Jon Broom of the Sikeston, Missouri Public Safety Department, who spoke to the media on Thursday.
According to Captain Broom, it is not yet known whether or not Jones’ mother actually owned the vehicle or was simply accountable for it. He added that Indianapolis police had initially noticed the stolen vehicle on Flock Cameras.
Sikeston Police say they believe all three suspects were riding together in the automobile. The city’s juvenile department, according to Cpt. Broom, will arrange transportation for the girl, who is 15, to return to Missouri.
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