IONIA CO, . Mich - — A Michigan State Police trooper was critically injured in a crash Friday night, July 10th, but he and his family are seeing an outpouring of support.
Tpr. Caleb Starr is still in the hospital, but State Police say they’re amazed seeing the community rallying around one of their own.
Tpr. Starr was responding to a low-priority call that night in Ionia County, when according to MSP, another driver, a 28-year-old woman from Utah crossed the center line on Grand River Ave., hitting him head on.
Lt. David Cope, the Public Information Officer for MSP’s Lakeview Post said, “Tpr. Starr had to be extricated from his patrol car and was flown by Aeromed helicopter to Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids.”
Tpr. Starr has been with MSP for 2 years and his fellow troopers tell FOX 17 that his positive attitude is sorely missed right now.
Lt. Cope said, “Caleb’s coworkers speak very highly of him. I understand he is a very hard worker and this has been a difficult time for those who work with him and close with him, along with the rest of our agency.”
Tpr. Starr is still unconscious, in critical condition and with a long road ahead for him and his family, the community is already backing them up.
Tim Lewis, Co-Owner of Hold the Line, a clothing company that makes apparel for front line workers said he’s not surprised by the amount of support Starr’s family is receiving.
Lewis is a retired Kent County Sheriff’s Deputy and his son, Tpr. Jacob Lewis , works alongside Tpr. Starr at MSP’s Lakeview Post. Tpr. Lewis is also one of the people who responded to the crash that night.
Tim Lewis said, “When you respond to a crash and you know the person is one thing, but when they are very bad, the adrenaline kicks in and you don’t realize everything until the dust settles.”
Lewis says his son approached him for the idea of making a T-shirt featuring Tpr. Starr’s badge number to raise money for his family.
You can purchase a Starr Strong T-Shirt here.
“I think we were talking 350 shirts for our initial printing. As of Sunday at noon, we were over 900 and as of this morning, I just updated and we are printing 1,300 shirts right now,” he said.
A GoFundMe page that’s also been set up, has raised more than $25,000 as of Tuesday night.
Lewis said, “Rachael, Caleb‘s wife is not working right now. They have two small children, 2 1/2 and 5, and then need someone to take care of them, now that mom is at the hospital sitting by Caleb’s side. Knowing that money is there and not having to worry about ‘I need to pay my bills or I’m going to lose my house, my car,’ that is a burden that she doesn’t have to worry about.”
Lewis said they are even getting orders from out of state, which is something he hope shows the Starr family that they have an even bigger family behind them. He said some are asking about financial donations outside the Gofundme, so he's set up a PO Box where people can send checks made out to the Starr Family.
PO Box 474
Greenville, MI 48838
Lewis said “Rachael, you are not going to walk this walk alone. If there is a need or a want, they need to reach out and we will do our best to make sure that we get it taken of.”
Lewis said that a lot of people are telling him they don’t want a T-shirt, but want to donate money, so he’s set up a PO Box where people can send checks, made out to the Starr family.
Lt. Cope said that MSP is still investigating what caused that other driver to cross the center line.