A Michigan firefighter is dead after being run down by a hit-and-run driver while collecting money for charity, according to Fox News. At approximately 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, 35-year-old Dennis Rodeman was struck by a white pick-up truck as he was standing in the middle of the busy intersection of Cedar Street and Jolly Road, collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
The firefighter was immediately rushed to Sparrow Hospital, but he later died from his injuries. Sources say before the firefighter was run down, he and the driver of the pick-up truck, whose name will not be released until the proceeding, exchanged a few words. “The suspect came by, was upset for whatever reason and circled back around before striking the firefighter,” said Lansing police Capt. Jim Kraus. “The preliminary investigation is that he deliberately hit the firefighter.”
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After the pick-up driver – who police say is 32 years old – hit the firefighter, he tried to flee the scene but didn’t get very far as he was caught near the intersection of Holmes and Waverly roads after a car and foot chase ensued, reported the Lansing State Journal.
Tionna Davis, who witnessed the incident as she was driving south on Cedar Street, told police officials that the pick-up truck driver “literally tried to hit him [firefighter].”
Not only was the Lansing firefighter a respectable man, but he was recently married with his first child on the way. Lansing Fire Department Fire Chief Randy Talifarro stated they “will do all they can to support his family.”
Lansing mayor Virg Bernero announced the firefighters’ death, which he called “a senseless, unthinkable tragedy,” during a conference. He said, “We join the men and women of Lansing Fire and all citizens of Lansing in expressing our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues for this heartbreaking loss.”
“It is beyond comprehension that this American hero lost his life on the streets of Lansing while collecting charitable contributions for children afflicted by muscular dystrophy.”
Rodeman was also a veteran who fought in Iraq. “He served his country with great pride, bravery and ability, having survived a tour of duty in Fallujah, Iraq, one of the most dangerous places in the world,” Bernero added.
Police officials concluded that the pick-up driver deliberately tried to kill the firefighter and was placed under arrest. The unidentified suspect will be facing murder charges, among others. However, the investigation is open, and if anyone knows anything about the hit-and-run incident, they are asked to contact Detective Lee McCallister at 483-4611.
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