Hearts are heavy as the Michigan State Police mourn the loss of one of their own.Trooper Chad Wolf died Friday afternoon after getting hit by a driver and dragged several miles while on his motorcycle.
The shocking news is met with tears and prayer here at the Great Lakes Baptist Church in Holly. Stunned parishioners are grieving the loss of church member and Trooper Chad Wolf.
"He was very popular," said Jim Slayton, a church elder. "It was because he was genuine and sincere. He loved God; he loved his wife and children. He loved his fellow troopers."
Wolf, 38, was on patrol on his Michigan State Police BMW bike at 6:30 a.m. Friday. Police say a truck towing a trailer merging into traffic and knocked Wolf off his bike.
Wolf then became trapped beneath the trailer. The truck driver, a 72-year-old man from Waterford, continued driving and dragged the trooper for about three miles before pulling into the I-75 rest stop just north of Springfield Township.
"He was traveling northbound on Dixie Highway," said Lt. Michael Shaw. "When another vehicle northbound cut off a lane to get off the freeway and struck the motorcycle."
"We all know that something can happen to us," Capt. Monica Yesh of MSP said. "When it's one of your own you have a job to do you have to take care of things but of course your heart is aching for him and his family."
At the rest stop Wolf was found critically injured a short distance behind the trailer. He was rushed to Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc, but the married father of four children was pronounced dead later Friday.
The driver told investigators he never knew he hit the Wolf. He cooperated with investigators and was later allowed to leave the scene.
"Right now (we're feeling) shock," Slayton said. "Then people start praying, they are feeling for his wife and children, his mom and dad. They are feeling sorry for everybody."
Wolf was a youth minister at Great Lakes Baptist in Holly, guiding junior and senior high students. And he picked up his guitar during Sunday services, and enjoyed singing Christian songs in front of the entire congregation.
"He played the guitar and he would sing Christian songs for us on the platform out of his love for God," Slayton said. "To me it was very interesting the first time I saw him up there, here is a state trooper willing to get out in front of people, play his guitar. He had a good voice but it was a message he wanted to get across. That was really a neat thing about him."
There have been no charges issued yet on the 72-year-old truck driver, but the investigation remains open.
Gov. Rick Snyder issued a statement:
"My heart is broken for Trooper Wolf's family, his friends and his Michigan State Police colleagues. The troopers who serve us every day in the name of public safety are incredibly brave, selfless and honorable. This loss will be felt deeply by the entire state of Michigan."