Richard Terrell Gaston
Indiana State Police
Thursday, March 4, 1999

Age: 29
Served: 2 months
Badge #:
Panel 48E, Line 21
Panel L2, Line 4

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Vehicular assault
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, March 4, 1999
02:10 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Indiana Toll Road in South Bend
Incident County:
St. Joseph
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Motor vehicle
Suspect Disposition:
Released in 2005
Burial Place:
Old Franklin Cemetery, Fairfield

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   Trooper Richard Gaston was killed when his patrol car was struck by a semitrailer on the Indiana Toll Road (Interstate 80/90) westbound at milepost 74 in South Bend.

   He was sitting in the driver's seat during a traffic stop and was killed instantly while his field training officer was seriously injured in the accident.

   After the semitrailer struck their vehicle from behind, it jack-knifed and struck the vehicle that had been stopped, killing a 65-year-old man and his 11-year-old grandson inside.

   The 50-year-old semitrailer driver was charged with 13 offenses, including possession of drug paraphernalia, driving within 72 hours after consumption of cocaine and a federal weapons charge for possession of a handgun within the cab.

   He later pleaded guilty to six felony counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and serious bodily injury, sentenced to 14 years in prison and released in 2005.

   Trooper Gaston, from Indianapolis, was assigned to the Toll Road district. He was survived by his wife, 10-month-old daughter and parents.

   Trooper Gaston was the first of three troopers within 11 months to be killed in the line of duty from the 56th ISP Recruit Academy, which graduated in December 1998. He was a roommate of Trooper Cory Elson who was killed in the line of duty on April 3, 1999.

Military Service

United States Marine Corps
Corporal (CPL)
He served with distinction as a part of the elite 8th and I company's presidential support unit at the Marine Barracks Washington and in 1991, he was named his company's ''Marine of the Year.''

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