News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 28, 2012

Correctional officer dies after collapsing at prison

Tribune-Star staff report

SULLIVAN — The death of a Wabash Valley Correctional Officer appears to have been the result of natural causes, an official said Monday.

On Sunday, Tim Betts, 51, was helping escort an “unruly offender” to segregation when he collapsed, according to a news release issued by the correctional facility in Carlisle.

Medical staff at the Carlisle facility provided assistance until an ambulance arrived and Betts was rushed to Sullivan County Community Hospital. About 2:30 p.m., the hospital informed prison officials that Betts had died.

Sullivan County coroner Jeff Griffith said an autopsy performed Monday indicated the cause of death “appeared to be natural.”

Betts had worked at the correctional facility since 1997. The Greene County native received numerous letters of appreciation and commendation for his outstanding service and dedication to duty, according to the news release.

“Tim Betts was a consummate professional and a true role model,” said facility Superintendent Richard Brown. “His co-workers knew they could depend on him, that Tim would cover their back if anything happened,” he said in the release.