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.