On Wednesday, a Louisville, Kentucky man was arrested on numerous charges after leading troopers on a 17 mile vehicle pursuit on I-65 in Jackson and Bartholomew Counties.
The incident began, at approximately 4:30 pm, when Sergeant Stephen Wheeles, Indiana State Police-Versailles observed a 2019 Volkswagon Jetta traveling northbound on I-65 near the 54 mile marker, just north of Seymour. The vehicle was traveling in excess of the speed limit and without registration plates displayed.
Sgt. Wheeles attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle near the 55 mile marker at the Jonesville exit. The vehicle, driven by Derek Smith, 29, fled northbound on I-65 from Sgt. Wheeles. Officers from multiple agencies assisted the Indiana State Police in pursuing Smith.
The vehicle entered Bartholomew County where it collided with two Indiana State Police vehicles near the 71 mile marker before coming to a stop. Smith was then taken into custody without further incident. Smith was found to be in possession of two handguns. One of the handguns had reportedly been stolen out of Louisville, Kentucky. Smith was additionally wanted on a warrant out of Lafayette, Indiana.
Smith was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, Indiana for evaluation before later being transported to the Jackson County Jail. Smith was then incarcerated on preliminary charges of Resisting Law Enforcement in a Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property, Reckless Driving, and Possession of a Handgun without a Permit.
The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Columbus Police Department, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Excise Police, Columbus Regional EMS, Columbus Township Fire and Rescue, and 31 Auto Group.