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 charity, killing him. Dennis Rodeman, a seven-year veteran of the Lansing Fire Department who also served in the US Marines in Iraq, was struck about 3:40pm yesterday and died later. He and other firefighters were participating in an annual fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters, authorities say, adding the 35-year-old was married two months ago, and he and his wife were expecting their first child. "This is a shocking and unthinkable tragedy," Mayor Virg Bernero says. "Dennis was cut down in an instant, doing what he loved, what he believed in, what he believed in most: helping other people."
A "traffic altercation" involving the suspect and Rodeman preceded Rodeman being hit, police Capt. Jim Kraus tells the Lansing State Journal. "The suspect came by, was upset for whatever reason (and) circled back around" before striking the firefighter, Kraus says. "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. A witness says 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 says. The truck fled the scene, authorities say. The driver eventually stopped the vehicle and fled on foot, but police officers caught him. The 22-year-old suspect, whose name wasn't immediately released, is being held on suspicion of murder and felony fleeing and eluding.