IMPD Deputy Chief James Waters critically injured in crash involving semi

INDIANAPOLIS -- A deputy chief and longtime officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was hospitalized after a crash involving a semi Sunday afternoon. 

The crash happened shortly after 1 p.m. on Interstate 70 at State Road 267. 

According to Indiana State Police Investigators, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Deputy James Waters, 49, may have stopped or slowed down for wood debris in the road when he was rear-ended by a semi.

Driver of the semi said Waters' vehicle suddenly slowed down, almost to a complete stop, according to a crash report. The driver said he didn't have enough time or room to stop before he rear ended Water's vehicle, causing it to travel off the roadway.

Data recovered from Waters' vehicle showed that it had slowed to about 20 mph before the crash. Just before the crash, the vehicle stopped braking and began to accelerate when it was struck, according to an accident report obtained by Call 6 Investigates.

Waters was taken to IU Methodist Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the semi was not injured in the crash. As of Monday afternoon, he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Waters was driving an unmarked Ford Fusion police vehicle but was off-duty at the time of the crash. 

State police say another off-duty IMPD officer came up on the crash and stopped to help. 

The crash remains under investigation by Indiana State Police. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash, however, per Indiana State Law, both drivers are being tested for alcohol. 

Chief Bryan Roach issued the following statement Sunday afternoon: 

“Our department asks for the city’s prayers for off-duty Deputy Chief of Investigation James (Jim) Waters who, after being involved in a serious auto accident, continues to receive treatment at a local hospital.”  

Waters joined IMPD in October 1990 as a uniformed patrol officer and worked a number of roles in the department until he was named Assistant Chief in 2014. He served in that role until he was promoted to Assistant Chief of Patrol in January 2016. He served there until he was promoted by IMPD Chief Bryan Roach to Chief Deputy of Investigations in January of this year. 

Well-wishes began pouring in for Deputy Chief Waters shortly after the crash. 

"Our thoughts are with Deputy Chief James Waters, his family & our brothers and sisters at @IMPDNews as we pray for a speedy recovery," the Marion County Sheriff's Department posted on their Twitter page. 

 
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