Bloomington judge, Indiana University law instructor and Catholic deacon dies in crash on I-465 near I-70

Bloomington judge, Indiana University law instructor and Catholic deacon dies in crash on I-465 near I-70


INDIANAPOLIS — A retired Indiana county judge, university law instructor and deacon died Friday afternoon on I-465 in Indianapolis after his car was hit from behind by a box truck, state police said.

Indiana State Police responded around 4:20 pm Friday to a crash involving four cars in the southbound lanes of Interstate 465 near I-70. There, deputies helped a man and woman who were trapped inside a damaged Acura SUV, state police said.

The man, later identified by ISP as 73-year-old Marc Kellams from Bargersville, Indiana, was pronounced dead at the scene. The female passenger was taken to the hospital and is now in stable condition.

Marc Kelams

Kellams was a longtime judge in Monroe County who retired in 2018 after 38 years and also taught trial advocacy at the Indiana University Maurer Law School, according to the Indiana Daily Student, IU’s student newspaper. He was also a graduate of the school, receiving his degree in 1978.

“Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Judge Marc Kellams,” the school tweeted Saturday. “Judge Kellams taught trial advocacy at the Law School for decades and was scheduled to teach again this fall. ‘I’ve never met a better human,’ said Alex Tanford.”

Since retiring from his role as Monroe County judge, Kellams had moved back home to Bargersville to be closer to family and also serve as a senior judge in Johnson County.

“Judge Kellams did some senior judge work here in Johnson County, and recently moved to Bargersville to be closer to family after spending his career in Bloomington,” the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office posted on Facebook. “Our prayers are with all those judges and attorneys who had the opportunity to work with him over the years. A sad day for our legal community.”

Kellams was a deacon in the Catholic church through the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana Public Media reports. While in Bloomington, I have served as deacon at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

Rick Wagner, a deacon at St. Pius X in Indianapolis and President of Guerin Catholic High School, tweeted about Kellams on Saturday, saying he was a deacon for over 12 years.

“Deacon Marc Kellams was a good man,” Wagner said, “ordained as a deacon for the Archdiocese in 2008. May he rest in peace. Prayers go out to his family, friends, and the parishioners of St. Charles Borromeo in Bloomington.”

Patrick Hyde, a Dominican Priest in Chicago, remembered Kellams’ kindness in a tweet.

“Dcn. Kellams served at the other parish in town when I first arrived,” Hyde said. “He welcomed me graciously & became a friend. He was a true deacon, a man of service & a man of and for the Church & those in need.”

Investigation

ISP said that a preliminary investigation at the scene of the fatal crash showed that traffic stopped in the southbound lanes on I-465 just south of I-70, near the 43-mile marker, for unknown reasons. Kellams’ car had come to a stop when a box truck did not stop for traffic and hit the rear end of his Acura SUV at highway speeds.

The initial collision caused a chain reaction crash which affected a total of four vehicles. The driver of the box truck was tested for impairment, ISP said, but at this time neither alcohol nor drugs are not suspected to be a factor in this crash.

Three lanes of I-465 southbound were closed for four hours while the crash was investigated and the vehicles were removed. The investigation is ongoing, ISP said.

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