Make your home page

Shelby County sheriff’s deputy dies in motorcycle crash on I-74

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — An off-duty Shelby County sheriff’s deputy died Wednesday morning in a motorcycle crash on I-74 near Shelbyville, Sheriff Louie Koch said in a statement.

Deputy Jay Griffth Jr. was a nine-year veteran of the department, according to Koch.

Deputy Jay Griffith Jr. (Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)

Just after 3:30 a.m., police were called to an accident on the ramp connecting westbound I-74 to State Road 9.

Officers arrived and found Griffith unconscious and unresponsive beneath a motorcycle, according to Indiana State Police.

Griffith was pronounced dead at the scene.

State police investigators believe Griffith was exiting onto the ramp to State Road 9 when, for unknown reasons, he applied the brakes and started to skid.

The motorcycle fell over and trapped Griffith underneath, state police said. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, according to state police.

“(Griffith) began his career with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department in June of 2013,” Koch said. “Deputy Griffith’s passing is an immense loss to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and our community in which he lived and served. I want to share my condolences with Jay’s family friends and colleagues; he will be greatly missed.”

Koch also asked the community to respect the Griffith family’s privacy during such a difficult time.

Karen Wicker says she knew Griffith. Years ago, three of her children attended elementary school and high school with him.

“He was good at school, a very bright kid, and it’s very hard for all of us right now,” Wicker said. “It hits when you know somebody or anything else. Jay was a good guy.”

“Shelbyville suffered a loss. I’m sure everybody in Shelbyville will get together,” Martin Duncan, a Shelbyville resident, said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. Alcohol, drugs, and speed were not believed to be factors in Griffith’s death, according to a statement by Shelby County Coroner Bradley Rund.

The ramp to State Road 9 was closed for several hours after the crash and reopened shortly before 9 a.m., according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.