The trail comes to an end: County mourns loss of David Hewitt


Both the Ohio County and Switzerland County communities were placed in a state of shock and sadness last Wednesday morning when David Hewitt, Police Chief of Rising Sun and longtime resident of Switzerland County, passed away as a result of injuries he sustained in an automobile accident.  The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene of the single vehicle accident along State Road 56 near Spring Branch Road early Wednesday morning. Rainy weather followed by cold temperatures had caused patches of ice to form on county roadways, and investigators believe that icy conditions were a factor in the crash.  The ice was so prevalent in areas that Switzerland County Sheriff’s deputy Bob Morton’s cruiser slid into the ditch after hitting ice on the way to the accident scene. The report of the accident came into Switzerland County dispatch at approximately 7:20 a.m.  Hewitt, 49, of Florence, was air cared from the scene, but died at Carroll County Memorial Hospital in Carrollton, Kentucky, as a result of his injuries.*  Hewitt had served Southeastern Indiana for 27 years in law enforcement. He had served as the Chief of Police in Rising Sun since 2004; having served on the city force since 1998. Previously, he served on different departments in the area, including being a member of the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department.  Because of his years of service, Rising Sun Mayor Brent Bascom ordered that all flags be lowered to half-staff and remain there for 27 days — one day for each year of Hewitt’s service.  David was also well known here in the Switzerland County community, including close relationships with law enforcement officers here.  “Our community and surrounding communities recently suffered a great loss with the passing of Rising Sun Police David Hewitt,” Switzerland County Sheriff Brian Morton said in a statement. “David began his career in Law Enforcement in the early 90’s with the Switzerland County Sheriff’s office and later moved onto other agencies and was currently serving as Rising Police Chief. David’s experience, kindness, and the willing to help people was a glaring example of what a great human being and officer should be. On behalf of the Switzerland County Sheriff’s office we wish to convey our deepest condolences to Chief Hewitt’s family. Dave, we thank you for your 27 years of outstanding service you’ll never be forgotten.”  Vevay Police Chief James Richards also issued a statement:  “The time I had with David Hewitt. David was a man’s man when it came right down to it. He was a man of faith, family, community, and nature. When I became police chief, David reached out to me to let me know that if i ever needed anything or needed to talk that he would always be available. There were many times I reached out to David for advice. David had a catchy smile and a contagious laugh. David would share with me his experiences and how they turned out. He never gave me a direct answer but a wealth of information from his experiences. Our conversations would always begin and end with discussions of family. David would always remind me that family needed to be placed as high priority.  “David is very proud of his children, wife, and would always share his happiness and pride they gave him. David’s daughter, Olivia, carries her father’s traits. Olivia took care of my daughter through many activities they would share together. My daughter, Dakota, is many years young than Olivia, but Olivia, as her father did for me, made it a point to reach out, speak, and help my daughter. She was a great role model and inspiration to my daughter. These are very rare traits that would be carried on through his son and daughter. *  Along with his service to his community in law enforcement, David was also a great outdoorsman, dedicated to the protection and preservation of nature. In that, he served for more than five years as a contributor to the Vevay Newspapers through his “Along the Trail” weekly column, one that became one of the most popular features in the paper.  *  • From David’s final weekly installment of “Along the Trail”, dated December 21st, 2017:  …. Late summer found me in the Rocky Mountains with one of my best friends, camped at 10,000 feet and enjoying every minute of the struggle that comes with a back country, high altitude elk hunt. I was even lucky enough to see a mature bull elk, but not lucky enough to find him on the business end of my arrow. Early Autumn rolled around and with it, my favorite time of year. I was blessed to take a couple of deer with my longbow and enjoy the colors of the fall.  Yes, it was a good year for me “Along the Trail”….  But, as with everything in this world, things have a shelf life, an expiration date and so it is for “Along the Trail”.  For several year now, Pat and the newspaper have given me space each week to share my thoughts on outdoor and hunting experiences with the readership and for that opportunity, I am grateful and humbled. I had no idea that the good people of Switzerland County and beyond would read, let alone enjoy some the stories I’ve shared or hear about the memories I’ve made. I have absolutely enjoyed every minute of jotting down my thoughts and putting my outdoor adventures to paper.  Sadly though, the time has come for me to move along the trail….*  For more on the life and passing of David Hewitt, please see page A-2 and C-1.