State Rep. Bronna Kahle today announced a proposal to honor fallen Trooper Byron J. Erickson by designating the portion of M-52 from Curtis Road to M-50 as the Trooper Byron J. Erickson Highway.
Trooper Erickson served with the Michigan State Police for four years before giving his life in the line of duty.
“Trooper Erickson was a true hero and this memorial highway will recognize his dedication to our state and our county,” said Rep. Kahle, of Adrian. “This will be a symbol of gratitude and acknowledgement from the community for which he gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
On the afternoon of July 2nd, 1993, Trooper Erickson responded to a tip regarding a stolen 1993 Mustang that had been spotted in a Tecumseh subdivision. As he entered the subdivision in an unmarked car, Trooper Erickson spotted the Mustang leaving the area and began to follow the suspect. He requested marked Michigan State Police units to assist in a felony arrest, however, the suspect realized he was being followed and accelerated in order to leave behind Trooper Erickson.
In an attempt to keep the suspect in sight until MSP patrol cars arrived, Trooper Erickson followed in pursuit. After a five-mile chase Erickson was forced to perform an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting a civilian vehicle. He lost control of his vehicle and crashed, suffering a severe spinal cord injury.
On July 31st at about 3:30 a.m., after 29 days in the hospital, Trooper Byron J. Erickson passed away as a result of complications from his injuries. He was 36 years old.
Trooper Erickson is survived by his son, Severin, who now serves as the Director of The Thin Blue Line of Michigan.
“I never knew my father. I only know him through the many stories of his bravery, honesty and joyful nature,” Severin Erickson said. “The thing I hear the most is how he loved his community. He became a trooper to protect those around him. I know he and my mom would be honored to have this reminder of his sacrifice.”
The bill will have no fiscal impact on the State or local government.