Patrolman
Benjamin 'BJ' Wilcher Jr.
Gary Police Department
Sunday, August 12, 2007

Age: 28
Served: 1 year, 9 months
Badge #: 1498
Military Service:
Panel 15W, Line 26
Panel L18, Line 11

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Vehicle pursuit
Date/Time of Incident:
Sunday, August 12, 2007
12:05 am
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
35th Avenue and Virginia Street, Gary
Incident County:
Lake
Incident Township:
Calumet
Weapon Used:
Automobile
Suspect Info:
Charged
Burial Location:
Oak Hill Cemetery, Gary

   Patrolman Benjamin Wilcher was killed when another patrol car collided with his patrol car during a vehicle pursuit.

   Both officers were involved in a high-speed pursuit of a suspect who had stolen his girlfriend's vehicle after forcing her out of the car. Patrolman Wilcher was traveling eastbound on 35th Avenue when his patrol car was broadsided by the other officer who was traveling southbound on Virginia Street. The injured officers were transported to Northlake Methodist Hospital before Patrolman Wilcher was flown to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, Illinois, where he died during surgery.

   The suspect was arrested a half-hour later after officers found him hiding in the attic at the girlfriend's house. He was charged with auto theft, carjacking, resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor battery.

   Patrolman Wilcher was survived by his wife, 2-year-old and 2-month-old sons, parents, sister and brother.