4 Mich. deputies from same sheriff's office injured in a 24-hour span

Two Oakland County Sheriff's Office deputies were injured in a crash while blocking traffic and two were injured in attacks at the jail

By Hannah Mackay
The Detroit News

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — Four Oakland County Sheriff's deputies were injured Saturday, two in a crash while blocking traffic on M-59, and two in attacks at the jail, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies were blocking traffic on the shoulder and left lane of eastbound Michigan 59 near Rochester Road in Rochester Hills just before midnight as a disabled vehicle was being removed by a tow truck, the sheriff's office said.

A 2004 Ford F-150 truck failed to move over or slow down and rear-ended the patrol vehicle blocking the left lane, causing it to spin, and hit the patrol vehicle blocking the shoulder.

The driver of the truck, Nicholas Leach, 29, of Shelby Township was trapped in the vehicle. He was extricated by Rochester Hills firefighters and taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The officer in the rear-ended vehicle suffered serious injuries and was in stable condition Sunday afternoon. The second deputy involved in the crash was treated for minor injuries, the sheriff's office said.

It is not known if alcohol or other drug use was a factor in the crash, the sheriff's office said. The patrol vehicles were both fully marked and their emergency lights were on, it said.

"While the crash investigation is ongoing, the one thing is that is clear is how dangerous it is for emergency vehicles and wreckers on the side of the road," Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in the release. "It is a tragic reminder to the public to stay capable of driving, focused and move over a lane, away from any emergency vehicles on the side of the road as required by law."

Two other deputies were injured Saturday in separate attacks in the Oakland County Jail, according to the sheriff's office.

One deputy was serving an inmate a meal and the inmate complained he was supposed to receive two meal trays instead of one, the sheriff's office said.

"The Deputy attempted to show the inmate that there was (a) double meal in the single tray when the inmate attacked him, unprovoked, punching him multiple times in the face and eye," the sheriff's office said in an email. "The inmate was secured in his cell and the Deputy was taken for medical treatment. A warrant package is being completed and charges against the inmate will be sought."

Another deputy was injured while responding to an inmate fight, also on Saturday.

"A Deputy grabbed one of the inmates to attempt to separate the combatants," the sheriff's office said in an email. "During the struggle, the Deputy sustained an injury to his thumb. The Deputy was sent for medical treatment."

The recent spate of injuries follows a fatal shooting that left one man dead and another Oakland County Sheriff's deputy injured on Friday.

Two deputies found an unidentified male asleep in a car in Pontiac Friday morning. Deputies found a gun in the car and attempted to wake up and detain the man after removing the firearm from the vehicle.

The suspect put the car in gear and accelerated during the incident while one deputy was partially hanging out of the car.

The car crashed into the deputy's patrol car, a curb and a street sign and one of the officers fired a single shot, fatally wounding the man. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. One officer was injured during the incident.


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