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16-year VSP veteran killed by fleeing suspect

2555 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  tomahawk
Vermont state police trooper is killed
By Christopher Graff, Associated Press, 6/16/2003 08:15

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) State Police Sgt. Michael Johnson was killed Sunday when he was struck on the interstate by a car he was seeking to stop.

Johnson was struck just after he placed spike strips on Interstate 91 in Norwich to stop a vehicle being driven by Eric Daley, 23, who had fled a state police stop roughly five miles north on the interstate.

Daley swerved to miss the spikes and struck Johnson, said Sgt. Bruce Melendy early Monday.

''He actually swerved to miss the spike sticks and went through the median up into the crossover where Sergeant Johnson was trying to take cover,'' said Melendy. ''That's where his cruiser was parked.''

Troopers administered first aid to Johnson and he was taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where he died at 4:46 p.m.

Daley, of Lebanon, N.H., fled on foot and was still at large early Monday morning, police said.

''Sergeant Michael Johnson of the Vermont State Police today made the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life in the line of duty,'' said Gov. James Douglas.

Johnson, 39, had been in the state police for about 16 years and was stationed in Bradford. He was married with three children, and was the first state police trooper killed in the line of duty in 11 years.

''We will mourn with his family and pray for them as they confront this tragedy,'' said Douglas, who said he would order state flags lowered to half-staff for three days in memory of Johnson.

Daley, driving a 1991 Nissan NX Coupe, had been stopped for speeding by Trooper Michael Smith at roughly 3:42 p.m. on the interstate in Thetford, WCAX-TV reported.

State police said he fled south until he came to the spikes Johnson had placed in the interstate.

''The Daley vehicle swerved into the median and through the crossover, striking Sgt. Johnson,'' said the state police news release. ''The Daley vehicle came to rest in the northbound lane of travel on Interstate 91.''

The last trooper to die in the line of duty was Sgt. Gary Gaboury, who drowned May 12, 1992 while attempting to retrieve the body of a college student from the Huntington Gorge in Richmond.

Johnson is survived by his wife Kerry, daughter Reilly, 12, and sons, Grady, 7, and McKendrick, 5.

State Police Capt. Glenn Cutting told WCAX-TV that the investigation has been difficult for the officers involved.

''We all knew the trooper involved here,'' he said. ''Again we're trying to focus on our work, do a good job on the scene of the investigation, basically cover all the bases and bring this person to justice.''
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My prayers are with the Family and Vermont State Troopers

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