The driver's side mirror of this Michigan State Police vehicle was clipped by a passing motorist Wednesday afternoon in Niles. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT
The driver's side mirror of this Michigan State Police vehicle was clipped by a passing motorist Wednesday afternoon in Niles. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

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MSP trooper hit by passing vehicle

Published 4:23pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Michigan State Police Sergeant has been released from the hospital after being hit by a passing vehicle during a traffic stop on Michigan Highway 60 in Niles Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the accident occurred around 2:41 p.m. about one mile northeast of Reum Road in Cass County.

Sgt. Paul Leonard, of MSP Paw Paw Post, had stopped a Ford Expedition driven by Michael Bridges, 61, of Niles, that was towing a pontoon boat westbound on M-60.

Leonard was at the driver’s door speaking with Bridges when he noticed a vehicle driving off the road. Leonard attempted to run to safety in front of Bridges’ vehicle.  At that time, a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Michael A. Durham, 57, of Edwardsburg, struck the pontoon boat and the Expedition. The collision spun the Expedition violently, causing it to strike Leonard. Leonard was transported by Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service to South Bend Memorial Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, it will be forwarded to the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office for review of any potential charges.

Troopers were assisted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, MSP 5th District Reconstructionist, Howard and Niles Township Fire Departments, SMCAS Ambulance, and the St. Joseph County Indiana Police Department.

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