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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Slain Cyclists: Update

Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News
Brownsburg - The two officers killed on a charity bike ride Tuesday leave behind families and also friends who loved and respected them and will miss them.

"He may be gone but he's not forgotten," said Indiana State Police Sergeant Bill Myers. He wants people to always remember his fallen colleague, Lieutenant Gary Dudley.

Dudley and retired Chief Gary Martin died during ISP's annual bike ride across Indiana - a fundraiser to help survivors of dead police officers.

"Gary was always out helping somebody. He died helping people," said Sgt. Myers.

Dudley trained hundreds of state police candidates at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Its military-style discipline and training is one of the toughest in the country. Sgt. Myers told Eyewitness News that Lt. Dudley first came to the Academy in 1993 and had been involved in 16 different academies. Sgt. Myers held back tears as he requested prayers for Dudley's family.

Perhaps the coworker who knew Dudley was his best friend, Sergeant Dave Bursten. Dudley served as Bursten's best man and gave him last-minute wedding advice.

"I think he told me something along the lines of don't lock your knees or you will pass out and fall over," Bursten said.

Like most troopers, Bursten's badge is covered with a black ribbon, and his cruiser antenna bears a black flag. "This is like losing a brother," he said.

Lt. Dudley's name will be added to the Indiana State Police Memorial. It's an eternal flame that burns night and day to remember those who served. The State Memorial lists the officer's name, their appointed date and date of death.

Now a man who died fulfilling his two passions - bike-riding and helping police survivors - will get a hero's send-off from family, friends and fellow officers. (End WTHR text)

Investigation Progress
Tom Stormcrowe/ The Amazing Shrinking Man Blogsite

The ongoing investigation has revealed that the driver, with Towne Air Freight, was properly licensed, and the truck was in good mechanical condition. Towne Air Freight and the driver are cooperating in the investigation with Indiana State Police.

At the scene, there were no skid marks or sign of evasion attempt and the cyclists were completely caught by surprise when their escort van was struck and spun into them. No charges have been filed yet against the driver.

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