LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State Police announced late Wednesday night that Tpr. Joel Popp was struck by a passing motorist while he and other troopers were conducting a DUI investigation. Popp was rushed to the Hurley Medical Center but did not survive.
“This is a message none of us wishes to deliver. With a very heavy heart I confirm the death of one of our own, Tpr. Joel Popp,” MSP Director, Col. James F. Grady II said in a statement. “I ask that you please keep his family, fellow troopers and all whose lives he has touched in your thoughts.”
According to MSP’s Thursday news release, Popp, 39, was struck about 7:12 p.m. Wednesday on northbound I-75 near Birch Run while conducting an investigation of a “suspected impaired driver.” The traffic stop was near a “curved lane of travel” where an 81-year-old male driver struck two patrol cars and Popp. The man sustained serious injuries, but is expected to survive.
We are saddened to report Tpr. Joel Popp has passed away, as a result of injuries sustained after being struck on a traffic stop on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.
Trooper Popp enlisted with the MSP in January of 2020, graduating as a member of the 137th Trooper Recruit School. He… pic.twitter.com/JlWyUtR3Dl
— Michigan State Police (@MichStatePolice) January 25, 2024
Popp began serving with the Michigan State Police in 2020. He has been assigned at the Tri-City post since going into service. He is survived by his wife Stefanie and a young daughter.
According to the agency, Popp is the 56th Michigan State Trooper to be killed in the line of duty.