New details released on fatal police pursuit in Trafalgar

New information was released Monday following a deadly police pursuit that occurred Saturday outside of Trafalgar.

An early Saturday morning police pursuit resulted in the death of Jacob G. Roberts, 23, of Nineveh, and sent Trafalgar Police Officer Dustin Moody, 30, of Greenwood, to the hospital with severe injuries. Because Moody was in such bad shape details released over the weekend were sparse. Since then, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigators have been able to put together a more clear picture of what happened.

At around 3:36 a.m. Saturday morning, Moody told investigators he was parked at a business near the intersection of State Road 135 and County Road 300 South when he saw a Chevrolet pickup truck fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection. Moody told investigators the truck was traveling southbound on State Road 135 at a high rate of speed and the driver, later identified as Roberts, squealed tires as he turned west on County Road 300 South. He continued driving down the county road at a high rate of speed following the turn, a press release from the sheriff’s office says.

Moody then left the parking lot where he was sitting and caught up to the vehicle near the railroad tracks on County Road 300 South. He saw Roberts disregard the stop sign at the railroad tracks and continue westbound. He then activated his emergency lights and siren but the driver of the pickup refused to stop, the press release says.

Moody told investigators he tried to communicate to dispatch that he was in a pursuit, but he was in a dead spot and his radio would not work. Moody continued to follow the suspect until the road abruptly ended at the T-intersection of County Road 300 South and 600 West. Both he and Roberts crashed into the embankment at the dead, but their vehicles did not collide, the press release says.

Moody was trapped inside his vehicle but was able to report the accident via radio to the Johnson County Communications Center. He reported that he had been involved in a vehicle accident and was trapped inside. He also reported there was a suspect vehicle in the area and the accident appeared to be bad, the release says.

With the information Moody provided, communications officers started the appropriate response of law enforcement and emergency medical responders to the scene, the release says.

Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene and the Johnson County Coroner’s Office found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma following an autopsy. Toxicology results are still pending, according to a press release from the coroner’s office.

The crash is still under active investigation and more information will be released at a later time, the sheriff’s office release says.

Roberts was a 2017 graduate of Indian Creek High School and a former member of the Future Farmers of America, the high school golf team and the Hopewell Boys and Girls 4-H Club, according to his obituary. Roberts had a passion for anything on wheels and worked at his family’s business, Honey Creek Auto Service, and NAPA Auto Parts, in Bargersville. He will forever be missed for his chattiness, smile and giving nature — he would do anything for anyone, his obituary says.

Moody remains at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in serious condition. He has worked for Trafalgar Police since June 2019 and has been full-time with the department since December 2020.

The community is rallying to support Moody, as his medical bills continue to pile up following the accident. Several businesses in Trafalgar have announced on social media they will donate portions of their sales this week to his family.

The owners of Small Town Pizza and Sub Company, 106 W. Pearl St., plan to donate 20% of their sales on Tuesday and Wednesday to his family, according to a Facebook post.

On Thursday, Trafalgar Discount Fireworks, 103 S. State Road 135, owners are planning to host a fundraiser from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The store will also donate 20% of its sales for the day to his family, according to a Facebook post.