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