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Trooper Struck and Killed by Car While Conducting Traffic Stop on I-75 Was Dad of 1, Police Say

Trooper Joel Popp, 39, was investigating a suspected impaired driver when another driver slammed into the officer and two patrol cars, according to Michigan State Police

<p>Michigan State Police</p> Trooper Joel Popp

Michigan State Police

Trooper Joel Popp
  • Michigan State Trooper Joel Popp, 39, has died after he was hit by a car while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 75 Wednesday evening

  • Popp was a father of one and enlisted with Michigan State Police in 2020

  • The 81-year-old driver who hit the trooper sustained "serious injuries" but is expected to survive

A Michigan state trooper has died after he was struck by a car while conducting a traffic stop Wednesday evening.

Trooper Joel Popp, 39, was investigating a suspected impaired driver on northbound Interstate 75 near Birch Run when another driver “struck two patrol cars and Popp, who was outside his patrol vehicle” at the time, according to a news release from Michigan State Police (MSP).

Popp was transported to Hurley Medical Center, where he later died. The 81-year-old man who hit the cop sustained “serious injuries” in the crash “but is expected to survive.”

Related: Grandma, 71, Dies After Man Crashes Car into Her Apartment amid Suspected Medical Emergency

“This is a message none of us wishes to deliver,” Col. James F. Grady II, director of the MSP, said in the department’s announcement regarding Popp’s death.

“I ask that you please keep his family, fellow troopers and all whose lives he has touched in your thoughts,” Grady added.

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Popp joined MSP in January 2020, according to the department. He was a graduate of the 137th Trooper Recruit School and served at the Tri-City Post “his entire career.”

The officer is survived by his wife ,Stefanie, and young daughter, MSP added.

Related: 4 N.C. Teens Die in High-Speed Crash as Car Was Clocked Going 104 MPH

In its news release, the MSP acknowledged the officers and emergency responders “who assisted at the scene and who continue to provide support to our department during this difficult time.”

“We also want to thank the staff and medical professionals at Hurley Medical Center for their care and compassion,” the department added.

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