Louisville man arrested after 17-mile pursuit


A Louisville, Kentucky, man faces numerous charges after leading Indiana State Police troopers on a 17-mile pursuit on Interstate 65 in Jackson and Bartholomew counties.

Derek Smith, 29, was arrested on the preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, possession of stolen property, reckless driving and possession of a handgun without a permit.

The incident began at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Versailles Post, observed a black 2019 Volkswagen Jetta traveling northbound on I-65 near the 54-mile-marker just north of Seymour. The vehicle was traveling in excess of the speed limit and without registration plates displayed, Wheeles said.

Wheeles attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle near the 55-mile-marker at the Jonesville exit. The vehicle, driven by Smith, fled northbound on the interstate from Wheeles. Officers from multiple agencies assisted in pursuing Smith.

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The vehicle entered Bartholomew County, where it collided with two state police vehicles near the 71-mile-marker north of Columbus before coming to a stop.

Smith was then taken into custody without further incident. He was found to be in possession of two handguns, one of which had reportedly been stolen out of Louisville, Wheeles said.

Smith also was wanted on a warrant out of Lafayette, police said.

Smith was transported to Columbus Regional Health in Columbus for evaluation before later being transported to the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown.

Troopers were assisted by the Columbus Police Department, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Excise Police, Columbus Regional Health Emergency Medical Services, Columbus Township Fire and Rescue and Thirty One Auto Group.

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