Indiana State Police to review crash investigation after FWPD Sgt. hit and killed pedestrian

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:59 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The Indiana State Police have confirmed with 21Investigates that the Fort Wayne Police Department asked for their help reviewing materials after the deadly crash involving a police sergeant.

ISP Sgt. Brian Walker says Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed requested the Indiana State Police review the crash investigation. Walker says the ISP Crash Reconstruction investigators at the Fort Wayne Post expect to have those materials in hand as soon as Wednesday and will begin their review at that time.

FWPD released the disciplinary history of the officer who they say hit and killed a pedestrian in downtown Fort Wayne on Wednesday, showing he has been in four other crashes while working.

FWPD says the crash happened around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at the intersection of E Main and S Calhoun Streets. The crash report says Sgt. Hartup was driving a police-issued GMC Sierra when he crashed into Henry Najdeski, 52, who later died.

Police documents say Sergeant Joshua Hartup, 46, was involved in four crashes while driving a police vehicle in 2005, 2007, 2000, and most recently in 2019. Hartup was suspended for the crash in 2007 and given letters of reprimand for the others.

21Investigates is working to learn more about those previous crashes as well. Reporter Karli VanCleave has submitted several public records requests including copies of Hartup’s four prior accidents and why the crash in 2007 resulted in suspension.

21Investigates is also trying to look at the numbers by requesting the total number of police vehicle accidents in the past 20 years within the Fort Wayne Police Department. Police have not responded to those requests.

Police say there was no body or dash camera footage taken of this crash because Hartup was not wearing an official police uniform and he was driving an unmarked car. Officers say unmarked cars are not equipped with camera equipment.