Trooper Steven J. Niewiek

March 27, 1967 – February 2, 1992

Tprs. James R. DeLoach and Steven J. Niewiek died as the result of a patrol car/train accident in Waterford Township on February 1, 1992.

While patrolling in Car 2712 at approximately 11 p.m. on February 1, 1992, Troopers DeLoach and Niewiek overheard Oakland County Dispatch report that a trooper needed assistance at the Deer Lake Inn. They responded to the call, traveling northbound on Scott Lake Road with their overhead light and siren operating.

Witnesses reported that the patrol car passed a line of six vehicles which had stopped for the flashing lights and crossing gates at the Canadian-National North America railroad crossing just south of Winton Road. Car 2712 pulled into the southbound lane of Scott Lake Road to pass these vehicles, slowed almost to a stop at the tracks, then accelerated around the crossing gates into the path of an eastbound train.

The patrol car exploded on impact and was thrown approximately 400′ east and north of the crossing. Several citizens pulled Trooper Niewiek from the passenger side of the flaming wreck, but they were unable to extricate Trooper DeLoach, who was pinned in the driver’s seat. Flames and exploding ammunition prevented further rescue attempts. It was later determined that Trooper DeLoach died instantly upon impact.

Trooper Niewiek was transported to Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital where he expired during surgery at about 3:35 a.m. on February 2, 1992.
Waterford Township Police Department investigated the patrol car/train accident.

Trooper DeLoach was the 42nd MSP office to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Niewiek was the 43rd MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper James R. Deloach

June 15, 1965 – February 1, 1992

Tprs. James R. DeLoach and Steven J. Niewiek died as the result of a patrol car/train accident in Waterford Township on February 1, 1992.

While patrolling in Car 2712 at approximately 11 p.m. on February 1, 1992, Troopers DeLoach and Niewiek overheard Oakland County Dispatch report that a trooper needed assistance at the Deer Lake Inn. They responded to the call, traveling northbound on Scott Lake Road with their overhead light and siren operating.

Witnesses reported that the patrol car passed a line of six vehicles which had stopped for the flashing lights and crossing gates at the Canadian-National North America railroad crossing just south of Winton Road. Car 2712 pulled into the southbound lane of Scott Lake Road to pass these vehicles, slowed almost to a stop at the tracks, then accelerated around the crossing gates into the path of an eastbound train.

The patrol car exploded on impact and was thrown approximately 400′ east and north of the crossing. Several citizens pulled Trooper Niewiek from the passenger side of the flaming wreck, but they were unable to extricate Trooper DeLoach, who was pinned in the driver’s seat. Flames and exploding ammunition prevented further rescue attempts. It was later determined that Trooper DeLoach died instantly upon impact.

Trooper Niewiek was transported to Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital where he expired during surgery at about 3:35 a.m. on February 2, 1992.
Waterford Township Police Department investigated the patrol car/train accident.

Trooper DeLoach was the 42nd MSP office to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Niewiek was the 43rd MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Kermit Fitzpatrick

January 29, 1961 – July 7, 1991

Tpr. Kermit Fitzpatrick was shot to death during a traffic stop on the Jeffries Freeway in Detroit.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 7, 1991, Trooper Fitzpatrick stopped a 1982 Blue Ford Mustang for a routine traffic violation on the westbound Jeffries Freeway (I-96) near Joy Road in Detroit. After using his patrol car PA system to direct the Mustang’s driver to a safe position on the freeway shoulder, Trooper Fitzpatrick left his patrol car and approached the driver to make contact. Just as Trooper Fitzpatrick took a position standing either just behind or next to the driver’s door, the driver raised a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and fired six (6) rapid shots. One shot hit Trooper Fitzpatrick’s jaw, two bullets entered his left upper chest, and one hit his right leg above the knee. His bullet-proof vest stopped the other two shots.

The suspect fled the scene, and passers-by attended to Trooper Fitzpatrick. Detroit police officers transported him to Henry Ford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:53 a.m.

The Detroit police Homicide Squad, assisted by State Police detectives, quickly developed a suspect—Steven Darius McGuire, age 20, of Royal Oak, Michigan. Investigators learned that McGuire had taken the Mustang from his mother without permission, and that he had stolen the .22 pistol and other guns when he burglarized a neighbor’s house.

After the shooting, McGuire drove to Hillsdale County, where he abandoned the Mustang and stole another car at gunpoint. He then drove to Napolean, Ohio, where he ran out of gas. After a motorist picked him up hitchhiking, McGuire tried to rob him, and fired several shots during a scuffle inside the car. Both men then ran from the car. Henry County sheriff’s deputies arrested McGuire in a nearby field soon after this incident. Their department also obtained a confession from McGuire regarding the murder of Trooper Fitzpatrick, and recovered the murder weapon.

McGuire eventually waived extradition proceedings in Ohio, and was transferred to the Wayne County Jail in Detroit. McGuire was convicted on counts of First Degree Murder and Felony Firearms violations in Wayne County Circuit Court in December, 1991. He was sentenced to life in prison in solitary confinement and at hard labor with no possibility of parole by Judge Leonard Townsend on January 6, 1992.

Trooper Fitzpatrick was the 41st MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper James E. Boland

January 11, 1945 – July 26, 1987

Tpr. James E. Boland was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by a drunk driver in Traverse City. He was directing traffic during the 1987 National Governors’ Conference.

In the early morning hours of July 26, 1987, Trooper Boland was assigned to direct traffic at the intersection of East Front Street (US-31, M72) and Barlow Street. Traverse City was going all-out for the National Governors’ Conference. Saturday night was filled with bands and fireworks and was drawing to a close. Thousands of people, who had enjoyed the warm weather and festivities of the evening, began to leave the downtown area to return home.

Trooper Boland was directing traffic near the middle of the intersection when he was struck by a 1975 Buick Century, traveling at a high rate of speed, driven by a female suspect. Although CPR and other first aid measures were provided at the scene by local police officers, Trooper Boland was pronounced dead on arrival at Munson Hospital at approximately 12:45 a.m.

The suspect vehicle left the scene of the accident, but was stopped by troopers a short while later. The suspect, found to be intoxicated, was arrested for manslaughter. On January 28, 1988, she pled guilty to negligent homicide.

Trooper Boland was the 40th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Paul L. Hutchins

May 9, 1955 – August 29, 1985

Tpr. Paul L. Hutchins was shot to death in the Hart Plaza area of Detroit while attempting to thwart an armed robbery.

Late in the evening of August 29, 1985, Trooper Hutchins and a companion had just left the Landsdowne Restaurant in Detroit and were walking in the Hart Plaza area. They were confronted by two young men, one of whom was armed with a handgun. The man demanded Trooper Hutchins’ wallet and his companion’s purse. After taking these items, the suspects forced the pair to begin walking to a more secluded area nearby. During this time, the suspects noticed the bulge of an additional wallet in Trooper Hutchins’ pocket, and demanded he give it to them. This wallet contained Trooper Hutchins’ badge and police identification. Trooper Hutchins suddenly pushed his companion safely out of the way, and began drawing his snubnose revolver as he ran a short distance away. As he turned and identified himself as a police officer, Trooper Hutchins was shot once in the forehead by the armed suspect. Both suspects immediately fled the scene.

A task force comprised of State Police detectives and officers from the Detroit Police Department thoroughly investigated the crime. In the fall of 1986, indictments were handed down by a grand jury, implicating four members of the Be Like gang. The suspects were tried in Detroit Recorders Court in front of the Honorable Judge Michael Talbot and found guilty of second degree murder. Each was sentenced to 150 – 300 years in prison for the murder of Trooper Hutchins.

Trooper Hutchins was the 39th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Robert J. Mihalik

March 23, 1947 – September 9, 1984

Tpr. Robert J. Mihalik was shot to death while arresting a person suspected of failing to pay for gasoline.

On Sunday, September 9, 1984, a service station attendant called the St. Joseph Post reporting that a man had just left the station without paying for $35.00 worth of gas and cigarettes. The post immediately broadcast the description of the suspect and his vehicle.

Trooper Mihalik was patrolling the I-94 freeway near the area where the suspect was last seen driving. Trooper Mihalik soon spotted the suspect’s vehicle and followed it off the freeway. He was finally able to force the suspect to stop in a residential area of Shoreham, an unincorporated village.

Witnesses saw Trooper Mihalik approach the suspect and heard the suspect arguing. Trooper Mihalik eventually had the suspect turn and take a position of submission to arrest. The suspect continued to argue, and began struggling as the officer started handcuffing him. Trooper Mihalik was able to secure only one handcuff when the suspect suddenly turned and pushed him back onto the hood of the patrol car. The suspect immediately grabbed for the officer’s service revolver, wrestling it away from him. Trooper Mihalik rolled off the patrol car and crouched beside it for cover. The suspect began yelling and waving the gun in the air, then suddenly shot over the hood of the patrol car at Trooper Mihalik.

Subsequent investigation revealed that the suspect fired six shots at Trooper Mihalik, striking him three times. One non-fatal round struck his chin, and two rounds (one of which was fatal) struck his chest. Trooper Mihalik was able to draw his snubnose revolver and fire five shots, striking the suspect’s left hand once. Witnesses kept the suspect in view as he fled the scene a short distance on foot. Back-up officers arrived and administered first aid to Trooper Mihalik. They were also able to arrest the suspect without incident moments later. His right wrist was still handcuffed.

Trooper Mihalik was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:20pm.  The suspect was charged with first degree murder and felony murder.  He was convicted on both counts in circuit court and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Trooper Mihalik was the 38th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Tony L. Thames

July 27, 1957 – June 12, 1983

Tpr. Tony L. Thames was shot to death outside the Balmar Motel in Detroit, Michigan, while attempting to thwart an armed robbery.

On June 12, 1983, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Trooper Thames and a companion were approached by two male subjects outside the Balmar Motel. One subject produced a small handgun and stuck it in Trooper Thames’ face. In self-defense, the officer then pulled his departmental snubnose revolver and pointed at his attacker. A scuffle ensued and the suspect shot Trooper Thames once in the leg and once in the chest, causing the officer to fall.

As Trooper Thames fell, his companion tried to run, but was stopped by the second suspect, who threatened to kill her unless she stopped. This suspect stole the woman’s purse and the suspects fled to their waiting car, which was being driven by a third suspect. Although mortally wounded, Trooper Thames got to his feet and fired one shot at the fleeing vehicle, striking his attacker in the arm. Trooper Thames again fell and was later transported to the Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he died at 3:50 a.m.

Using information supplied by witnesses, officers of the Detroit Police Department located the suspect vehicle and arrested the assailants at 4:05
a.m. on June 12, 1983. Trooper Thames’ companion positively identified the two men who had attacked them from a line-up. Felony warrants for murder and armed robbery were issued against them and the driver. The shooter was later convicted of first degree murder.

Trooper Thames was the 37th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Vicki Moreau Devries

November 29, 1953 – July 22, 1982

Tpr. Vicki Moreau DeVries died as a result of injuries suffered when her unmarked State Police car left the roadway and overturned.

Trooper DeVries was working as an undercover narcotics officer, temporarily assigned to COMET (Combined Oakland-Macomb Enforcement Team). After having made a successful narcotics transaction with a suspected narcotics dealer, she stopped in Utica to meet with her supervisor and other narcotics officers. Due to the late hour and the fact that she was transporting evidence from the narcotics investigation, she was authorized to drive the unmarked State Police vehicle to her residence. The evidence was to be turned over to the State Police Crime Lab as soon as it opened the following morning. While she was enroute to her residence, the car left the roadway and overturned. The accident occurred on I-696 freeway in the city of Farmington Hills. Trooper DeVries was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Trooper DeVries was the 36th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Craig A. Scott

December 28, 1953 – February 9, 1982

At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 1982, Tpr. Craig A. Scott was working traffic patrol on US-127 just south of the Ingham/Jackson County line. At about this time, he observed a red 1974 Camaro speeding northbound on the highway. Trooper Scott gave pursuit and stopped the car south of Leslie, Michigan. He approached the driver and asked for his driver’s license and vehicle papers. The driver produced a Michigan Identification Card and no papers for the Camaro, which he and the vehicle’s front seat passenger had stolen in Ann Arbor four days earlier. Both suspects had extensive criminal records, and both were wanted for auto theft and rape at the time of the Scott shooting.

After receiving the identification, Trooper Scott attempted to file check the driver, but could not contact the post on his prep radio. He recontacted the driver, informed him that he was under arrest, took him from the car, and handcuffed him. While placing the driver in the patrol car, Trooper Scott left his back exposed to the Camaro. The front seat passenger was able to sneak from the Camaro to a distance of three to four feet from Trooper Scott, from which point he shot the officer three times with a .38 caliber revolver. Although Trooper Scott was mortally wounded, he was able to return fire at the Camaro as it fled from the scene.

The two suspects and three female passengers drove into Leslie, where they stole a blue 1981 Cutlass at gun point. This robbery was immediately reported to the police. The suspects were headed for Jackson when they were stopped in the stolen Cutlass by officers from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department and arrested without incident.

Through investigation and taped statements from eyewitnesses, it was proven that both suspects were principals in the murder of Trooper Scott. On August 18, 1982, both were sentenced to life prison terms on the charge by the Ingham County Circuit Court.

Trooper Scott was the 35th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Allan P. Peterson

October 19, 1943 – August 29, 1981

On the morning of August 7, 1981, at approximately 5:07 a.m., a C & O freight train derailed in the city of Bridgman, Michigan. The train, comprised of 80 cars, pulled by two locomotives, and trailed by a caboose, lost 14 of its cars in the derailment. One of the cars, a tanker with the number ACFX92961 stenciled on its side, flipped over and rested on its top. Due to a ruptured standpipe, a large white plume of toxic gas began to escape from this tanker.

Various police agencies arrived at the scene to assist with the derailment, led by troopers from Benton Harbor, Paw Paw, and the New Buffalo Team. Among the involved officers was Tpr. Allan P. Peterson, a thirteen year veteran, who had served at Bay City, Ithaca, Brighton, and Paw Paw before being transferred to the New Buffalo Team.

Trooper Peterson was assigned to the inner perimeter of the scene, approximately one-hundred yards from the wreckage. His primary responsibilities included keeping motorists, media, and curious onlookers away from the overturned tanker which continued to spew toxic gas. Investigation of the cargo indicated the upside down car was loaded with fluosulfonic (fluorosulfonic) acid, an odorless, fuming liquid that is acidic, poisonous, and highly corrosive to metals and tissue. Short contacts with small quantities of this acid or its fumes can cause severe, painful burns. Trooper Peterson, as did many of the assigned officers, spent his entire shift working in close proximity to the caustic white plume.

On August 29, 1981, at approximately 8:15 a.m., Trooper Peterson, 37 years of age, died of a massive heart attack, following a prolonged and severe coughing spasm. It was determined, at a later date, that the medical complications contributing to his death were a direct result of the exposure to the toxic plume discharged from the derailed freight train.

Trooper Peterson was the 34th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.