First Sergeant Karl Eugene Kelley

First Sergeant Karl Eugene Kelley

Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana

End of Watch Friday, April 17, 1998

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Karl Eugene Kelley

First Sergeant Karl Kelley died from injuries suffered the day before during a training exercise at the Williams Dam on the East Fork White River in Lawrence County.

A boat containing two other conservation officers had overturned in turbulent waters. When Sergeant Kelley and another conservation officer attempted a rescue, their boat capsized as well. First Sergeant Kelley was rescued after being submerged for 15 minutes. He survived for 24 hours before succumbing to his injuries at University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sergeant Kelley had served with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, son, two stepsons, parents, brother, sister, four grandchildren, and two stepgrandchildren.


  • Age 56
  • Tour 28 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned
  • Incident Date Thursday, April 16, 1998

training, water rescue

Most Recent Reflection

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20 years and still in my thoughts daily as an open wound that does not close. You are remembered and missed, my friend and my mentor.

Gary Catron

April 16, 2018

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