A deputy police chief with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) died recently after a truck accident on Interstate 70. James “Jim” Walters was 48, and had only been a Deputy Chief for about 6 months, but had worked with the department in several capacities for over 30 years.

A report from Fox 59 states that Waters was heading eastbound near the State Road 267 intersection at around 1 p.m. when a semi truck slammed into his vehicle from behind. Fire officials believe he may have slowed down to avoid something on the road, such as debris. When emergency crews arrived they found him in critical condition and transported him to the hospital, where he died 4 days later.

The driver of the semi, 64-year-old David Carter, was not injured. Waters was off-duty at the time of the accident, and his vehicle was an unmarked police vehicle.

Waters had been involved with the IMPD since he was a teen, joining as a civilian employee almost 30 years ago. He held a number of jobs there, including Commander of East District, Assistant Chief, and of course, Deputy Chief. In his final role, he was head of investigations for the department. He also managed to rack up some impressive hardware during his time on the force. He won the Mayor’s Community Service Award, a Certificate of Commendation from the Red Cross Hall of Fame, and even a Medal of Bravery.

After his death, the Chief Bryan Roach and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released statements of tribute to the deceased. The Mayor even asked that flags be flown at half-staff to honor the fallen officer.

While the driver of the truck was not found to be at fault, the fact is that this accident probably wouldn’t have been as serious had the vehicle who hit Chief Waters’ vehicle hadn’t been a truck. Because of their size and the speeds at which they travel, trucks and other large vehicles pose a unique risk to everyone else on the road. Trucks and tractor trailers are involved in more deaths and injuries than any other type of vehicle. When out driving, make sure that you are always aware of these vehicles and be sure to give them a lot of space.

If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed during a truck accident, it’s vital to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer will know what questions to ask, what laws apply, and where to look for answers. Whether you have a dispute with your insurance company, or with a party you feel is at fault, the best help you can get to proceed is a reputable lawyer. They can provide not just legal advice, but they can investigate your case fully so that you have every bit of information you need. Then, they will fight for your rights, whether that’s at a negotiating table or in the courtroom. For a free consultation, contact Rowe and Hamilton Attorneys at Law for a free consultation.