NORTH VERNON — Two officers with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department were injured when their patrol cars collided west of North Vernon early Tuesday.

Deputy Thomas Mellencamp, 24, was transferred by medical helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis as a result of the 4:30 a.m. crash on what is commonly referred to as the North Vernon Bypass.

While Mellencamp’s injuries are described as serious, they are not considered life-threatening, according to a news release from the Indiana State Police.

Reserve deputy 34-year-old Jason Littrell was treated and later released from Jennings St. Vincent Hospital, the release stated.

Story continues below gallery

Both officers were investigating a report of reckless driving at the time of the accident.

The crash took place after Littrell had first pulled over his westbound marked Dodge Charger to the shoulder of State Road 750 near O and M Avenue, according to ISP investigator Trooper James Herbert.

When the officer attempted to make a U-turn to head east, his patrol car pulled into the path of the other westbound deputy, resulting in Mellencamp’s newer-model Charger striking the rear driver’s side of Littrell’s vehicle, the release stated.

Herbert is continuing to investigate causes that led to the collision, the release stated.

Assisting at the scene were other officers with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department and the North Vernon Police Department, as well as North Vernon Fire and Jennings County EMS-Rescue 20 personnel.

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.