Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Corporal James Szuba and his canine partner, Ricky, were killed when their squad car was struck while assisting with a pursuit.
Corporal Szuba was proceeding northbound on Byrkit Avenue as it turns into Fir Road when his squad car was sideswiped by a drunken driver being pursued by another officer. The suspect had swerved around a vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Avenue when he hit the oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and Ricky, who were both killed instantly.
The 31-year-old suspect, who had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit, was on probation for an 18-month sentence for delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. He was later convicted and sentenced to 32½ years for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, resisting law enforcement and possession of controlled substances.
Corporal Szuba was survived by his wife, son, daughter, mother, two brothers and two sisters. One brother currently serves as a sergeant and their father was a retired officer with the South Bend Police Department.