Law enforcement mourns trooper who died following crash


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Saturday, Michigan State Police escorted the body of a trooper who died Friday night, weeks after being involved in a serious crash.

The procession for Trooper Caleb Starr started in Grand Rapids, and traveled eastbound on I-96 to a funeral home in Lansing, officials confirmed with News 8. Emergency vehicles were parked on overpasses above I-96 to honor the fallen trooper.

Starr, who is from the Lansing area, joined MSP in September 2018. He is survived by his wife, Rachael, a civilian member of the state police and their two young daughters.

A courtesy photo of Caleb Starr.
A courtesy photo of Caleb Starr.

The tragedy is mourned by law enforcement across the state, as a mid-Michigan police chief said the trooper was well respected by others. 

“The thing that I’ve heard from most people is that he was an incredible police officer, but he was an even better person,” said Shepherd Police Chief Luke Sawyer. 

Sawyer said though he never met Starr, many of his colleagues were friends with the fallen trooper. Even though Sawyer didn’t know him personally, he’s been a big advocate for the Starr Strong fundraising campaign. 

Sawyer said those close to Starr described him as a man who brought honor to the badge.  

“He was a dad, he was a husband, he was a patriot, he was a protector,” Sawyer said.  

Fellow MSP Trooper Patrick Arena, who created a GoFundMe page to help support Starr’s family, posted an update Saturday about the Trooper’s passing.  

“His family, blood and blue, are all beyond broken hearted,” the post stated in part.  

The crash happened just before 10 p.m. July 10 on Grand River Avenue west of Nash Highway in Boston Township.

Starr was extricated from the cruiser after the crash. He was airlifted to Spectrum Heath Butterworth Hospital in critical condition. He was being treated there until he died, according to MSP.

Investigators say Starr was steadily driving, below the speed limit at the time.

On Friday, MSP said the other driver was drunk and charges are pending against her. She is believed to still be hospitalized, the state police said.

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