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.