Master Trooper
James Ray Bailey
Indiana State Police
Friday, March 3, 2023

Age: 50
Served: 15 years, 6 months
Badge #:
Panel 36E, Line 34 (2024)
Included (2023)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Vehicular assault
Date/Time of Incident:
Friday, March 3, 2023
04:30 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Interstate 69 near Auburn
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Motor vehicle
Suspect Disposition:
Awaiting trial
(currently incarcerated)
Burial Place:
Calvary Cemetery, Garrett

Share this Memorial

   Master Trooper James Bailey was struck and killed during a pursuit near the 326-mile marker on northbound Interstate 69 south of Auburn.

   He was assisting other troopers with weather-related accidents when a vehicle being driven erratically and at a high rate of speed was being pursued by an off-duty officer from the Fort Wayne Police Department approached the area.

   As he deployed Stop Sticks, the driver of the vehicle being pursued turned his vehicle directly towards Master Trooper Bailey, striking him. He was transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne where he died.

   The 42-year-old male driver was taken into custody and has been charged with murder, felony counts of resisting law enforcement by motor vehicle causing death and operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance resulting in death.

   Master Trooper Bailey, from Auburn, was assigned to the Fort Wayne post. In 2010, he and his wife, a registered nurse, while off duty were awarded the agency's Life Saving Award for reviving an elderly man who had collapsed at a grocery store in Fort Wayne.

   He was survived by his wife, Amy (née Garn); son, Joseph; daughter, Sophia; father, Bill Bailey; brother, Bill Jr. (Tiffany) Bailey; and sister, Theresa (Kevin) McBride. In April 2024, he was posthumously awarded the agency's Purple Heart Award.

Memorial Tribute

• In 2024, Interstate 69 between the County Road 11A Exit and State Road 8, near mile marker 326, was dedicated the Master Trooper James R. Bailey Memorial Highway in his honor.

Historical Notes

• Master Trooper Bailey is the second of seven Indiana line of duty deaths in 2023.
• He is the 45th line of duty death of the Indiana State Police.
• His line of duty death is the second that has originated from DeKalb County.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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