Michigan State Police ask for tips about deadly deputy crash

Posted at 4:02 PM, Dec 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-08 17:20:34-05

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich.--Michigan State Police are still searching for answers in the crash that killed Ingham County Deputy Grant Whitaker around 2 AM Sunday morning. Whitaker was chasing a vehicle down rural roads when his car left the road and hit a tree, separating in two.

"Trees really are one of the worst things you can hit because they don't move," said Michigan State Police Lt. Therese Cremonte. "They lose a little bark sometimes but it was a devastating accident for sure."

Police say Whitaker was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, but his car did not have a dash camera. That's making the investigation difficult and tips from residents even more critical.

"We are in the process of changing out some vehicles and putting dash cams in them and that was just one of the vehicles that we were in the process of changing out," said Ingham County Captain Eric Trojanowicz.

The Ingham County Sheriff's Department is now conducting it's own internal investigation about its policies and procedures during chases similar to the one that killed Whitaker.

"Generally it's up to the commanding officer working that night to call off the pursuit. Based on this instance, it was the time of day we were pursuing the vehicle. We were pursuing him in an area he knew well, he knew the streets well. He was from that area and when you start pursuing a vehicle because he was speeding it was reckless driving but you have no idea what they're actually running from," said Capt. Trojanowicz.

If you have any information about the white SUV or the pursuit, you can call the Michigan State Police tip line at 517-331-5634. Any information called into that tip line can remain confidential.