LAPEER COUNTY (WJBK) - He's Michigan's longest serving sheriff but after a career of saving lives he found himself in need of rescue.
The sheriff of Lapeer County is in the hospital tonight after being injured in a serious crash.
Lapeer County Sheriff Ron Kalanquin is being treated at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. Family members are at his side, a community is pulling for him and police are getting to the bottom of a deadly accident.
"It is still a preliminary investigation ongoing," said Det. Kevin Roberts, Davison Township Police Department. "It appears that one vehicle, the victim's vehicle, crossed the centerline."
And first responders arrived to find one of their own amidst a mangled mess of metal. Sheriff Kalanquin was rushed to the hospital in serious condition after his department cruiser was struck head on.
Davison township police say the accident happened around 9 a.m. Thursday, the brief snowfall did not play a role in the crash.
Police say 27-year-old Allen Babcock crossed the center line before striking Kalanquin. Babcock who neighbors say had just gotten married in September, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The accident happened near an intersection that some residents have long considered problematic. They say it needs a traffic signal.
"It's a horrible accident," said Keith Rumbold, a friend of Kalanquin. "Sheriff Kalanquin is well respected in the community."
In fact, he's Michigan's longest serving sheriff. Kalanquin has held his position for 36 years. Now, Lapeer County's top cop is holding on.
Police say it appears neither drugs nor alcohol played a role in the accident and both drivers were wearing seatbelts. The investigation is still underway anyone with information is asked to call Davison Township police.