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, from Merrillville, 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.