TROOPER MANUEL H. FIELDS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY

House Bill 4572 (H-1) as reported from committee

Sponsor:  Rep. Sarah L. Lightner

1st Committee:  Transportation

2nd Committee:  Ways and Means

Complete to 9-3-19

SUMMARY:

House Bill 4572 would amend the Michigan Memorial Highway Act to designate the portion of highway I-94 in Jackson County between US-127 South Interchange and Hawkins Road as the “Trooper Manuel H. Fields Memorial Highway.”

Proposed MCL 250.2091

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

According to committee testimony and the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, on August 27, 1994, Trooper Fields reported to the Jackson Post to start an overtime traffic enforcement assignment. He had just completed a temporary assignment as an instructor for the 109th Trooper Recruitment School and was scheduled to return to the Training Academy within the week to begin instructing the 110th Trooper Recruitment School. 

At approximately 5:50 p.m., Trooper Fields conducted a traffic stop on the north shoulder of westbound I-94, east of US-127 South. Trooper Fields approached the vehicle with six male occupants and made contact with the driver. He obtained the operator’s license and the vehicle registration and requested proof of insurance. As the driver reached for the glove box to obtain the insurance information, another westbound vehicle crossed the line onto the north shoulder of the roadway. The vehicle grazed the front of the police vehicle, struck the stopped vehicle, and then struck Trooper Fields.

The vehicle continued westbound on I-94, failing to stop at the crash scene. The crash was witnessed by several citizens, who stopped to render aid to Trooper Fields. However, his injuries were fatal, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 34 years old.

Dedicating a portion of highway I-94 between the US-127 South Interchange in Jackson to Trooper Manuel H. Fields would be an appropriate way to honor his sacrifice and his dedication to “service through excellence, integrity, and courtesy."

FISCAL IMPACT:

Section 2 of the Michigan Memorial Highway Act indicates that the state transportation department shall provide for the erection of suitable markers indicating the name of the highway only “when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining those markers.” As a result, the bill has no state or local fiscal impact.

POSITIONS:

The following entities indicated support for the bill:

·         Michigan State Police (9-3-19)

·         Michigan State Police Troopers Association (6-11-19)

The Michigan Department of Transportation indicated a neutral position on the bill. (6-11-19)

                                                                                         Legislative Analyst:   E. Best

                                                                                                 Fiscal Analyst:   William E. Hamilton

This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their deliberations, and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.