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.