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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Convicted bank robber shoots self during traffic stop

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vance Smith
HENRY COUNTY -- A Plainfield man formerly convicted in a local bank robbery shot himself during a traffic stop on Interstate-70 Friday morning.

While patrolling I-70 shortly after 11 a.m., Friday, Indiana State Police Trooper Justin Geltmaker attempted to stop the driver of a pick-up that had articles falling out of the bed of the truck traveling eastbound near the 131-mile-marker.

Geltmaker activated the patrol vehicle's emergency lighting in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop.

The driver exited I-70 and continued south on Wilbur Wright Road to turn around in a gas station parking lot south of I-70 before returning to I-70 westbound. As the trooper followed, Geltmaker could see the driver reaching for an unknown item.

The pick-up truck traveled off the right side of the roadway onto the emergency strip, then traveled across both westbound lanes of I-70 into the grassy median at the 129-mile-marker.

Geltmaker and ISP Senior Trooper Kris Martin rushed to the vehicle and found the driver suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The troopers called EMS personnel and administered first aid.

The driver, identified as Vance E. Smith, 41, 727 Moon Road, Plainfield, was transported to Henry County Memorial Hospital. Smith later died of his injuries. An autopsy is scheduled Saturday, and Henry County Coroner Stacy Guffey will release the cause of death after the preliminary exam.

I-70 was restricted in both directions for a short time while detectives and troopers conducted the investigation at the scene.

ISP Det. Scott Jarvis is conducting the ongoing investigation. Officials confirm no further information will be released about the investigation and no speculation will be made about why Smith took his life.

Smith has connections to the Clay County area. He was convicted for his involvement in the November 2007 robbery of the Poland First Financial Bank, and a separate bank robbery in Darlington, Ind., on Oct. 31, 2007.

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This is sad. Was it because he did not want to go back to jail? Ironically, that address, 727 Moon Road, Plainfield is the Plainfield Correctional Facility. (Indiana Department of Correction)

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 8:11 PM

He saved the taxpayers some money.

-- Posted by BWare on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 8:25 PM

BWare... if I was not a law abiding God fearing Christian, I would be tempted to save society from your shallow and insensitive presence... Vance was not a bad man... he may have made some poor choices in the past but he had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone... he is loved by many people including his four children and he will be missed greatly... He is in Heavan now... shame on you... please think before you speak in the future...

-- Posted by commonsense11 on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 10:24 PM

While people may make poor choices, the act of armed robbery is a conscious choice and he made that twice. I can not feel sorry for him, one of my friends works at the poland bank and was placed in danger by this man. By taking this action all he did was escape whatever the consequences of his current choice to run from the police would have resulted in. No justice was served, and I am sure many people were hurt by his last action. While I did not know him personally his actions unfortunately speak volumes. While tragic, he put himself in this situation.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 9:21 AM

It's sad for the loved ones that he made the choices he made. Smith may have been a wonderful person, but I can't help but wonder what he, a convicted bank robber, was doing in that area carrying a gun in the truck with him.

-- Posted by snow on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 5:34 PM

MR>BWARE.. first of all did you even stop and think vance is someones son,brotherand daddy... whatever mistakes he made he had a family whom loved him..... take a look in the mirror....we all make mistakes not one person on earth is perfect,, this family needs prayer,,dont judge what you dont know......

-- Posted by friend of family 2011 on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 2:04 AM

Amen and well said friend of family...

-- Posted by commonsense11 on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 12:45 PM

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