Detroit, MI – Michigan State Police (MSP) K9 Rex died in the line of duty on July 25 after a drunk driver crashed into the patrol unit he was sitting in while his human partner was directing traffic.
The duo’s marked Chevrolet Tahoe was parked across all lanes of the M-10 freeway near Linwood in order to block traffic due to flooding, the MSP said in a series of tweets.
The roadway had been blocked for several hours when a vehicle suddenly came barreling through “at freeway speed” and slammed into the patrol unit, according to police.
The impact activated the unit’s emergency tone, alerting other first responders the SUV had just been hit, the MSP said.
The trooper further advised that the suspect’s vehicle was in flames.
The Detroit Fire Department responded to the scene and began helping the “severely injured” occupants inside the suspect vehicle.
The trooper suffered non-life threatening injuries to his legs, but K9 Rex’s condition was far more dire.
The German shepherd was rushed to Blue Pearl animal hospital with “severe spine and leg injuries,” the MSP said.
He succumbed to his injuries a short while later.
Police said they believe the driver of the vehicle, who was severely injured in the wreck, was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
“Troopers and the MSP Crash Reconstruction team investigating the crash and have obtained a blood draw which will be tested for alcohol,” the MSP said.
K9 Rex was assigned to the MSP Metro South Post, where he was “known for his determination in searching for suspects and articles. He was a tremendous partner to his handler and was an asset to the post,” the agency said.
Here are a few photos from the crash scene showing the severe damage to the vehicles from the impact. pic.twitter.com/jqrBxgUnib
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) July 25, 2021
— Terror Alarm (@terror_alarm) July 26, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Michigan State Police in the loss of K9 Rex.