Aaron Nathanial Smith
Indiana State Police
Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Age: 33
Served: 4 years, 11 months
Badge #:
Panel 19E, Line 34 (2024)
Included (2023)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Vehicular assault
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
08:45 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Ronald Reagan Parkway and Interstate 70, Plainfield
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Motor vehicle
Suspect Disposition:
• Awaiting trial
• Sentenced to 2½ years
(currently incarcerated)
Burial Place:
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis

Share this Memorial

   Trooper Aaron Smith was struck and killed during a pursuit on Ronald Reagan Parkway at Interstate 70 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway) in Plainfield.

   Another trooper had stopped a vehicle reported stolen from Missouri that he located at a gas station on Kentucky Avenue in Indianapolis and began questioning its occupants.

   The driver fled toward Ronald Reagan Parkway where it was pursued northbound before turning around near Six Points and then headed southbound.

   Trooper Smith was deploying Stop Sticks when the driver being pursued aimed the vehicle toward him as it approached Interstate 70 and struck him, throwing him into the air and landing at the bottom of an embankment before the vehicle crashed nearby.

   He was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis where he died. All three occupants of the stolen vehicle were injured but survived.

   The 18-year-old male driver has been charged with murder, resisting law enforcement and auto theft of the vehicle stolen from his mother at their home six days earlier.

   A 19-year-old male passenger subsequently pleaded guilty to resisting law enforcement and sentenced to 2½ years in prison while an auto theft charge was dismissed. A 15-year-old female passenger, who had been reported missing from Missouri, was released.

   Trooper Smith, from Franklin and a certified private pilot, was assigned to the Indianapolis post. In April 2023, he was twice awarded the agency's Life Saving Award for rendering medical aid to gunshot victims in separate incidents occurring in 2022.

   He was survived by his wife, Megan Lynn (née Bunting); father, Garry (Cynthia) Smith; mother, Patricia Ann Denny; brothers, Jeromey Para, Frank (Amber) Catanzarite and Chad (Taylor Jarboe) King; sister, Hope Smith; and maternal grandparents, Gene (Carolyn) Marlin.

   In April 2024, he was posthumously awarded the agency's Purple Heart Award.

Military Service

Indiana Army National Guard
Sergeant (SGT) ▪ 2011–2023

Historical Notes

• Trooper Smith is the fourth of seven Indiana line of duty deaths in 2023.
• He is the 46th line of duty death of the Indiana State Police.
• His line of duty death is the eighth that has originated from Hendricks County.
All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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