Officer Teresa Jean Hawkins, 28, died in a pre-dawn automobile accident on Tuesday, August 17, 1993, while driving to assist an ambulance crew with a patient at 38th Street and Emerson Avenue. As she drove on Emerson, with red and blue lights flashing, a 1978 Ford LTD driven by Elvis L. Lacy, ran a stop sign at Emerson and 36th Street. Lacy was moving in excess of the 30-mph speed limit. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.191 percent, almost twice the legal standard for intoxication. The Ford struck the driver's door of Officer Hawkins' Chevrolet Caprice, pushing the squad car into a utility pole.
Lacy was charged with reckless homicide; operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causing a death; and driving with a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit, causing a death.
All three charges were class C felonies, calling for a maximum sentence of 8 years. However, because all three charges were based on the same facts, only one sentence of 8 years could be imposed. Lacy pled guilty and received the maximum 8 years.
Officer Hawkins, a Tipton native, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hawkins and the youngest of nine brothers and sisters. A 1983 graduate of Tipton High School and a 1987 graduate of Ball State University, Officer Hawkins' ambition to go into law enforcement began when she babysat for the three children of a Tipton County deputy sheriff.
Hundreds of police officers from Michigan, Kentucky, and throughout Indiana attended services for Officer Hawkins. Patrol Officer Anna Bies, a friend and co-worker, stood before the 900 mourners and gave an emotional and moving eulogy: "The words that come to mind to describe Teresa are exceptional, genuine, unselfish," said Officer Bies. Officer Hawkins is buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Tipton.
Officer Hawkins had been an IPD officer for five years.
Source: Indianapolis Star, August 18, 19, 20, 21, 1993