Trooper Robert John Lather, II

Trooper Robert John Lather, II

Indiana State Police, Indiana

End of Watch Tuesday, July 6, 1982

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Robert John Lather, II

Trooper Robert Lather was killed when his cruiser was struck by a car that he and a Howard County deputy were trying to stop.

The deputy had called for assistance in stopping the vehicle, which was traveling at over 95 mph. Trooper Lather was in front of the vehicle attempting to slow it when the car struck the rear of his cruiser, causing it to crash.

The 17-year-old driver was arrested and charged with manslaughter and several traffic violations including drunk driving.

Trooper Lather, who had beaten cancer twice, had served with the Indiana State Police for 7½ years and was assigned to the Peru post. He was survived by his wife, 2-year-old son, and 6-month-old daughter.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 7 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Arrested

DUI, traffic stop, vehicle crash

Most Recent Reflection

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During the summer of 1985, I was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club to attend the Indiana State Police Career Camp at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. I received the Robert J. Lather II Scholarship and was subsequently placed with a duty to honor his name by becoming a police officer... a 'good' police officer. If someone knows the family or friends of Trooper Lather, let them know his memory made a lasting, positive impression on a 'kid' that never knew him.

SWAT Officer (retired) Dennis Prestel
Columbus Police Department (Ohio)

September 5, 2023

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