Trooper Manuel H. Fields

April 25, 1960 - August 27, 1994

Tpr. Manuel H. Fields died as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck by a passing motor vehicle while standing along the shoulder of the roadway during a traffic stop.

On August 27, 1994, Trooper Fields reported to the Jackson Post to start an overtime traffic enforcement assignment. Trooper Fields had just completed a temporary assignment as an instructor for the 109th Trooper Recruit School. Trooper Fields was also scheduled to return to the Training Academy within the week to begin instructing in the 110th Trooper Recruit School.

At approximately 5:50 p.m., while patrolling in patrol unit 418, Trooper Fields conducted a traffic stop on a 1977 Olds Cutlass on the north shoulder of westbound I-94 east of US-127 (South). Trooper Fields approached the vehicle, occupied by six male subjects, and made contact with the driver. Trooper Fields had obtained the operator’s license, vehicle registration, and had requested the proof of vehicle insurance from the driver.

As the driver of the vehicle reached to the glovebox to obtain the insurance information, another westbound vehicle crossed the fog line traveling onto the north shoulder of the roadway. Upon crossing the fog line, the vehicle struck and grazed the front corner of the police vehicle, then struck the stopped vehicle, before striking Trooper Fields.

The striking vehicle then continued westbound on I-94, failing to stop at the crash scene. Numerous citizens witnessed the crash and stopped to render aid to the fallen trooper. However, his injuries were fatal and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the striking vehicle, a seventy year old female subject, was the only occupant of the vehicle. The driver drove to her sister’s residence in Jackson and notified police that she had been involved in a collision. The driver reported she felt she had been involved in a collision with a sign.

It is unknown why Trooper Fields had stopped the vehicle on I-94. The driver of the stopped vehicle stated that the trooper was struck before he was able to advise him why he had been stopped.  The driver of the striking vehicle was subsequently charged by the Jackson County Prosecutors Office in a two count warrant: Negligent Homicide and Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident.

The traffic crash occurred in Leoni Township, Jackson County, and was investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff Department.

Tpr. Manuel H. Fields was the 46th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Bryon S. Egelski

January 10, 1964 - July 11, 1994

Tpr. Bryon S. Egelski died as a result of injuries sustained in a patrol car collision. The collision occurred while he was responding to the call of an injury traffic crash.

On July 11, Tprs. Bryon S. Egelski and Danielle Teunion-Smith, assigned to the St. Clair Post, reported to work for the midnight shift.

At approximately 11:35 p.m., while patrolling in car 237, the officers were dispatched by the St. Clair County Sheriff Department to respond to a rollover injury traffic crash. The location of the reported crash was Marine City Highway and Palms Road.

Patrol unit 237, driven by Trooper Egelski, was responding to the reported crash with the patrol unit emergency lights and equipment activated. Approximately two miles from where the troopers received the original dispatch call, they collided with another vehicle.

Patrol unit 237 was responding westbound on Davis Road as it approached the stop sign at the intersection of Range Road. As the patrol unit drove into the intersection, it was struck broadside by a vehicle traveling northbound on Range Road.

After impact both vehicles went off the roadway and a fire erupted. The impact pinned both troopers in the wreckage until they were extricated by emergency personnel.

Officer Gary Holowitz, Marysville Police Department, was just completing a traffic stop approximately 600 feet away from the intersection when the crash occurred. Officer Holowitz’s quick action in extinguishing the fire and rendering aid is believed to have saved the life of Trooper Teunion-Smith.

Troopers Egelski and Teunion-Smith were transported to Mercy Hospital in Port Huron. Trooper Egelski was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Trooper Teunion-Smith sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized. She was released from the hospital and on April 30, 1998 retired from the Michigan State Police with a disability retirement.

The driver of the second vehicle was transported and treated at the hospital for minor injuries.

The traffic crash occurred in the city of Marysville and was investigated by the Marysville Police Department.

Trooper Egelski was the 45th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Byron J. Erickson

December 21, 1956 - July 31, 1993

Tpr. Byron J. Erickson died as a result of complications from injuries sustained in an automobile accident during the pursuit of a suspected stolen car.

On Friday, July 2, 1993, the Adrian Post received a tip that a stolen 1993 Ford Mustang was parked at a residence in the Ridgemont Subdivision of Tecumseh, north of Adrian. Driving the post detective’s unmarked car, Trooper Erickson responded to the area at approximately 4:40 p.m.

As Trooper Erickson entered the subdivision, he noticed the Mustang leaving the area. He began following the suspect and radioed for marked units to assist with a felony stop. Apparently, the suspect realized that a police car was following him, because Trooper Erickson radioed that the suspect suddenly took off at a high rate of speed. Trooper Erickson gave chase in order to keep the Mustang in sight for the responding patrol cars.
The chase lasted approximately five miles before Trooper Erickson lost control of his vehicle on Shepherd Road in Lenawee County. Trooper Erickson suffered severe spinal injury when his car flipped and rolled over. It is believed that Trooper Erickson lost control when he took evasive action to avoid hitting a citizen’s car, which he suddenly came upon after cresting a hill.

The suspect continued on, but was subsequently arrested following another chase involving several police agencies.

Trooper Erickson was flown to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for surgery. On Saturday, July 31, 1993, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Trooper Erickson passed away as a result of complications from his injuries.

Trooper Erickson was the 44th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.