SAINT CLAIR SHORES (WWJ) – Authorities say a Michigan State Police motorcycle trooper was on his way to the funeral for a slain Detroit Police sergeant when he was struck on I-94 and seriously injured.
The accident happened just before 9 a.m. Friday on eastbound I-94 near 9 Mile Road in St. Clair Shores.
“Basically in a nutshell, we had a road rage incident,” Lt. Mike Shaw said live on WWJ Newsradio 950. “A blue in color GMC pickup truck with a single white male operator was headed on 94, became disgruntled, I guess, because he couldn’t drive as fast as he wanted to, veered around another vehicle and pulled in front of that vehicle and hit the brakes.”
The other vehicle tried to avoid hitting the pickup truck and swerved into the center lane, Shaw said, but ended up striking the motorcycle trooper.
“He kind of slid across the freeway to the right shoulder,” he said. “Luckily he wasn’t struck by anybody else. We had a lot of citizens stop and stay with him until EMS arrived, so we’re very grateful for that.”
The trooper was rushed to the hospital with head, neck and shoulder injuries. His current condition is unknown. Shaw said it’s the second time this trooper — identified as Ali Hammoud, a five-year MSP veteran in his 30s — was struck while on his motorcycle, and he’s only been part of the special enforcement patrol since the beginning of summer.
“He’s got some pretty serious injuries, so we’re asking for some prayers for him,” he said. “He has a lot of road-rash, a lot of scraping to his shoulder and back. His helmet took a lot of the impact when he went down, so we’re a little worried about some head trauma, some concussion.”
The motorist who caused the accident fled the scene.
“We’re still looking for him, but we’ll find him,” said Shaw. “We’d rather have him turn himself in and tell us exactly his side of the story. … We don’t have a plate but we do have cameras on the freeways and we’re working on doing something with those cameras to see if we can zoom in on that particular vehicle.”
Hammoud was on his way to a funeral for slain Detroit Police Sergeant Ken Steil when the collision occurred. Steil died from a blood clot days after being shot while chasing a fleeing suspect.
“All the motorcycle units were going to assist with some of the road closures and some of the escort services for Sergeant Steil. That’s where he was headed,” said Shaw. “I actually was at the church myself. I’m the commander of the motorcycle unit for this area, so naturally that was my first response to go out to the crash itself.”
Shaw said he’s sick of seeing these types of road rage accidents, regardless if a trooper is involved or not.
“Unfortunately this is the thing that we see all the time. People just don’t have the patience to drive on the roads some times and make some very poor decisions,” he said. “These vehicles are weapons. I mean, they’re 4,000 pound weapons that can just kill somebody at a spur of the moment if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.”
All lanes of eastbound I-94 are closed at 8 Mile Road as police investigate the scene. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.