Tpr. Darryl M. Rantanen was killed in a traffic accident while involved in the chase of a stolen automobile.
Trooper Rantanen and his partner were pursuing a stolen car occupied by two youths, after being alerted by Escanaba police. Trooper Rantanen’s partner, the driver of the patrol car, attempted to pull alongside the stolen car. Before the patrol car could be brought alongside the fleeing vehicle, the driver swerved across the centerline forcing the patrol unit off the roadway. Both vehicles left the roadway with the patrol unit turning onto its side and its top striking a tree. The stolen car skidded back across the roadway and came to rest in the ditch on the opposite side. The occupants then fled.
Trooper Rantanen was pronounced dead at a local hospital. His partner, seriously injured, remained under hospital and medical care for six months. The driver of the stolen car, later apprehended, was convicted in Delta County Circuit Court and was sentenced to terms of 4-1/2 to 15 years for involuntary manslaughter and 4-1/2 to 10 years for intent to do great bodily harm to the other officer.
Trooper Rantanen was the 29th MSP officer to die in the line of duty.