LANSING, Mich. – Police in Michigan have arrested the driver of a pickup truck who they believe intentionally struck a firefighter standing in a roadway collecting money for a charity, killing him.
Dennis Rodeman, a seven-year veteran of the Lansing Fire Department, died Wednesday night, Mayor Virg Bernero said in a statement.
The 35-year-old Rodeman, who also served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, according to the mayor, was struck about 3:40 p.m. He and other firefighters were participating in an annual fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters, authorities said.
A "traffic altercation" preceded Rodeman being hit, Lansing police Capt. Jim Kraus told the Lansing State Journal.
"The suspect came by, was upset for whatever reason (and) circled back around" before striking the firefighter, Kraus said. "The preliminary investigation is that he deliberately hit the firefighter."
Rodeman was wearing a reflective vest and other gear and was standing in the road's center turning lane.
Tionna Davis told the newspaper she was driving in the area and saw the pickup swerve from one lane to another before Rodeman was struck.
"He literally tried to hit him," she said.
The truck fled the scene, authorities said. The driver eventually stopped the car and fled but was caught by police officers. The 32-year-old suspect's name wasn't immediately released.
Prosecutors could file charges Thursday.
The mayor called Rodeman's death "a senseless, unthinkable tragedy."
"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," Bernero said.