Line Of Duty Deaths

State Patrol Trooper Badge with Black Mourning Band

 

Oran "Nanny" Pape #40 - End of Watch: April 29, 1936

Photo of Patrolman Oran "Nanny" Pape

On April 29, 1936, around 5:00 pm, Patrolman Oran “Nanny” Pape #40 was traveling on Old Highway 61 near Fairport when he stopped a car believed to have been stolen.  As he approached the car, the driver, Roscoe Barton, a 23 year-old parolee from Davenport, pointed a gun at Pape and ordered him into the car.  As they proceeded down the highway, Pape grabbed Roscoe and the two men struggled.  Two shots went off; one striking Roscoe in the head killing him instantly.  The other went into Pape’s abdomen and groin, seriously wounding him.  Pape was able to stagger out of the car and hail a passing vehicle for help.  He was rushed to Hershey Hospital in Muscatine where doctors tried in vain to save him.  He died early the next day; the first member of the Patrol to die in the line of duty and the only officer murdered. Nanny Pape was one of the “Original 50” Iowa Patrolmen.

Harold Klinkefus #119 - End of Watch: May 18, 1949

Photo of Patrolman Harold Klinkefus

Patrolman Harold Klinkefus #119 was westbound on U.S. Highway 34, four miles east of Red Oak on May 18, 1949.  An eastbound car turned off onto a side road and a fully loaded semi-trailer truck had to slow to avoid the turning car in front of it.  The rig jack-knifed and went out of control, crashing into the side and top of the patrol car.   Klinkefus was thrown clear of the wreckage, but landed on a fence.  Patrolman Harold Klinkefus died within minutes.

Harold DeGear #60 - End of Watch: February 19, 1954

Photo of Patrolman Harold DeGear

On the night of February 19, 1954, Patrolman Harold DeGear #60 had stopped a Marion man for faulty equipment and was standing behind the violator’s car issuing a citation.  A third vehicle, which was passing a truck, struck the rear of the car crushing DeGear.  The violator’s car was forced over 30 feet forward.  DeGear was rushed by ambulance to the hospital suffering from broken legs and extensive internal injuries. Patrolman Harold DeGear died the following day.

Ralph Garthwaite #218 - End of Watch: July 2, 1955 

Photo of Patrolman Ralph Garthwaite

At 5:50 pm on July 2, 1955, Ralph Garthwaite #218 was driving his patrol car north bound toward Dunlap about two miles north of Woodbine on Highway 30 north of Council Bluffs. While crossing a 24-foot bridge, the left-front fender of his patrol car collided with that of another vehicle traveling south. The accident caused fatal injuries to Patrolman Ralph Garthwaite. The driver of the other vehicle was found to be intoxicated.

Marvin VanderLinden #46 - End of Watch: June 11, 1965

Photo of Sergeant Marvin VanderLinden

At about 6:00 pm on Friday, June 11, 1965, Sergeant Marvin VanderLinden #46 was on his way to investigate an accident north of Sheldahl.  While passing through a gravel intersection about 15 miles north of Des Moines, his patrol car was struck broadside by another vehicle.  The force of the impact threw both vehicles into the ditch.  The patrol car was hit on the passenger’s side which caved into the driver’s seat. The front end of the other vehicle was totally demolished.  Sergeant Marvin VanderLinden and the other man were killed instantly.

Charles Whitney #329 - End of Watch: June 16, 1985

Photo of Trooper Charles Whitney

On Sunday afternoon, June 16, 1985, Trooper Charles Whitney #329 was working with Trooper Keith George underneath a patrol aircraft while stopping speeding violators on Interstate 380 near Evansdale.  Whitney was handing a citation through the driver’s side window of a violator’s vehicle when he was struck by another automobile whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.  Whitney was pinned against the car while it continued on striking both stationary patrol cars which were parked front of the speeder’s car. Trooper Charles Whitney was killed instantly.

Lance Dietsch #142 and Stanley E. Gerling #190 - End of Watch: June 30, 1989

Photo of Trooper Lance DietschPhoto of Trooper Stanley Gerling

On Friday evening, June 30, 1989, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department contacted the Iowa State Patrol requesting help with locating an elderly man who had wandered away from the nursing home.  Trooper Pilot Lance Dietsch #142, age 30, of Council Bluffs and Trooper Stanley E. Gerling #190, age 34, of Atlantic responded in a Maule Patrol aircraft.  The search was about to be terminated when the two Troopers spotted the man in a soybean field.  The airplane turned sharply and plunged into the ground, nose first, killing both Trooper Pilot Lance Dietsch and Trooper Stanley Gerling.  Trooper Dietsch and Trooper Gerling were the first aircraft fatalities since the addition of the Patrol Air Wing in 1956.

Allen Nieland #445 - End of Watch: October 14, 1990

Photo of Trooper Allen Nieland

At about 7:30 am on Sunday, October 14, 1990, Trooper Allen Nieland #445, took off in a Patrol Cessna 172 from the Cedar Rapids airport to assist with locating a robbery suspect who was driving a stolen pickup truck.  Other Troopers had set-up a roadblock on U.S. Highway 151 south of Little Amana. Nieland had spotted the suspect ‘s vehicle when his aircraft suddenly nose-dived into a field near the intersection of I-80 and U.S. Highway 151.  The impact of the crash was severe. It killed Trooper Allen Nieland and caught the plane on fire.  Bystanders from a nearby motel tried to extinguish the flames, but were unsuccessful.  The suspect was caught shortly thereafter and charged with vehicular homicide.

Mark Toney #227 - End of Watch: September 20, 2011

Photo of Trooper Mark Toney

On September 20, 2011, Trooper Mark Toney was on patrol working traffic on Highway 65 in Warren County. Trooper Toney activated his emergency lights and turned around quickly to stop a violator. Toney was driving northbound when he lost control while negotiating a curve. The vehicle left the roadway, rolled several times, and was soon engulfed in flames.  Trooper Mark Toney died from the injuries he sustained in the collision.

James Smith #462 - End of Watch: April 9, 2021
Sergeant James Smith

On April 9, 2021, Sergeant Jim Smith was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a subject who had assaulted and disarmed another law enforcement officer during a traffic stop near Grundy Center.

The subject initially fled as officers attempted to stop him, but the subject stopped and confronted law enforcement and antagonized them to shoot him. The man then assaulted one of the officers and disarmed him after placing the officer in a chokehold. The subject was able to get back into his car and fled to his home.

Responding officers established a perimeter around the home and established an arrest team. When the arrest team entered the home, the man opened fire with a shotgun, striking Sergeant Smith. Other members of the team were able to remove Sergeant Smith from the home. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The subject shot at an Iowa State Patrol tactical team at about 11:50 pm. The man was wounded by return fire, taken into custody, and charged with murder.

Sergeant Smith had served with the Iowa State Patrol for 27 years.
 

For a comprehensive list of officers killed in the line of duty throughout Iowa and across the nation, as well as information and statistics on Line of Duty Deaths, please visit the Officer Down Memorial Page.