Whitley County, IN – Whitley County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) K9 Castorka “Cas” died in a fiery crash on Wednesday, after a fleeing suspect’s vehicle collided with the patrol car she was riding in.
The incident began at approximately 3:30 p.m., after a suspect carjacked a vehicle in Plymouth, the South Bend Tribune reported.
A short while later, an Indiana State Police (ISP) trooper spotted the vehicle involved in the armed carjacking, and pulled the driver over on U.S. 30 in Kosciusko County.
A passenger inside the stolen vehicle bailed out before the driver sped off again, In Whitley County reported.
During the ensuing pursuit, WCSO Deputy Gary Archbold traveled to the intersection of County Road 450 West and U.S. 30 to deploy stop sticks, WCSO said in a press release on Thursday.
“Deputy Archbold parked his K9 vehicle in the crossover between eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic,” the department said. “For reasons unknown at this time, the suspect’s vehicle came across both eastbound lanes of travel, into the crossover and struck Deputy Archbold’s vehicle at a high rate of speed.”
The patrol vehicle burst into flames, trapping K9 Cas inside.
The blaze quickly engulfed the vehicle, and deputies were unable to rescue the K9 due to the flames and heat.
Deputy Archbold was not injured during the incident.
The suspect suffered minor injuries, and was taken into custody. Criminal charges are expected.
The ISP is handling the ongoing investigation into the collision.
K9 Cas, a Belgian Malinois, joined the WCSO in April of 2017. She also previously served with the Columbia City Police Department.
“K9 Cas’s service directly attributed to the betterment and safety of the Whitley County Community,” the WCSO statement said.
A memorial service for K9 Cas has been scheduled to take place on July 17.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Whitley County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Archbold in the loss of K9 Castorka “Cas.”