Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Sergeant William Paterson was killed in a two-vehicle accident during a high-speed pursuit of a stolen vehicle from Hamlet in Starke County.
As the pursuit entered Lake County, his patrol car was broadsided by the suspect's vehicle, which flipped over, caught fire and rolled into a ditch 170 feet from impact.
Sergeant Paterson was transported to Southlake Methodist Hospital in Merrillville where he died from massive head and chest injuries.
The 14-year-old male driver, who had walked away the day before from a substance abuse rehabilitation center in Grovertown, was also killed. Two male juvenile occupants in the vehicle were also injured in the accident.
Sergeant Paterson was survived by his wife, 15- and 20-year old daughters, and a 17-year-old son, who currently serves with the department.
United States Air Force Reserve
• The 14-year-old offender is the youngest known to be involved in a line of duty death in Indiana.