Motorcycle Policeman James J. Reilly, 35 years old, was injured fatally during the late afternoon of Thursday, January 29, 1942, when the motorcycle he was riding collided with two automobiles in the 3600 block on West Washington Street. The accident occurred as Officer Reilly, riding west on Washington, attempted to pass a car driven in the same direction. The driver of the car began to make a left turn onto Doerre Avenue just as Officer Reilly began to pass. The motorcycle hooked onto the rear bumper of the car, and the impact threw him and the motorcycle into the path of an eastbound car. Officer Reilly died almost instantly. A witness to the accident told police that he thought Officer Reilly was pursuing a speeder.
Officer Reilly was employed by the city park department and served with the police department in directing school patrol details during the winter. During the summer months he patrolled Indianapolis parks. He was appointed April 12, 1935.
Officer Reilly was survived by his mother, three brothers, and two sisters. His brother, Dennis, was also a member of the Indianapolis Police Department. Policeman Reilly is buried in Holy Cross cemetery.
Source: The Indianapolis Star, January 30, 1942.