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Hero Down: Michigan State Trooper Caleb Starr Dies 3 Weeks After Being Hit By Alleged Drunk Driver

Grand Rapids, MI – Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper Caleb Starr died in the line of duty on July 31, three weeks after an alleged drunk driver crashed into him head-on.

The collision occurred at approximately 10 p.m. on July 10, as Trooper Starr was headed eastbound on Grand River Avenue in Boston Township, MLive reported.

A woman in an oncoming vehicle suddenly crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic, and slammed into the 33-year-old trooper head-on, according to the MSP.

Trooper Starr was flown to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he remained until he succumbed to his injuries on July 31, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The driver of the vehicle that crashed into him has been identified as 28-year-old Thomasina Shani Jones, WOOD reported.

Jones, who was hospitalized for a period of time after the fatal crash, was arrested at a residence in Ionia County on Monday.

She has been charged with operating while intoxicated, operating while license is suspended, revoked or denied, causing death, operating with a high blood alcohol content level causing death with a prior conviction, and second-degree murder, according to WOOD.

Trooper Starr joined the MSP in September of 2018.

He was assigned to the Lakeview post at the time of his death, MLive reported.

His wife, Rachael, is a civilian employee with MSP, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Trooper Starr also leaves behind his two daughters, ages five and two, MLive reported.

“The Michigan State Police mourns the loss of not just a trooper, but a husband, father and dedicated public servant who had so much left to give in a life that was cut far too short,” MSP Director Colonel Joe Gasper told MLive in a written statement.

A fundraising page established to help Trooper Starr’s young family in the wake of their loss has raised over $67,000 so far.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Michigan State Police Trooper Caleb Starr, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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