LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Transportation Committee today unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-East Lansing) that will rename a portion of State Highway M-52 as the “Deputy Grant Whitaker Memorial Highway,” in memory of Ingham County Deputy Sheriff Grant William Whitaker.

“Deputy Whitaker was a model public servant, and was known as an energetic young officer who was always ready to step up when duty called,” Sen. Hertel said. “This memorial sign will be a visual reminder of his impact on the community that he so proudly served, and I hope it brings his family and friends some comfort to know that he will never be forgotten.”

Senate Bill 509 would rename a portion of Highway M-52 in Stockbridge Township in Ingham County, from the intersection of Highways M-52 and M-106 to the intersection of Highways M-52 and M-36.

“The State of Michigan naming this road after Deputy Whitaker, is a great way to always remember Grant and the ultimate sacrifice he paid for our community,” Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth. “This roadway is meaningful because it runs right through Stockbridge, where Grant grew up and lived when he passed away.”

Deputy Whitaker was killed in the line of duty on December 7, 2014, in a vehicle crash during pursuit of a fleeing driver who was attempting to elude a traffic stop. Deputy Whitaker’s patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree during the pursuit, causing him to suffer fatal injuries. The driver of the fleeing vehicle was arrested several days later, convicted of eluding police and driving on a suspended license, and sentenced to prison.

“We realize that none of us are immune to a phone call or a knock on the front door that will change your life forever — but we’ve lived it,” said Mary Whitaker, Grant’s mother. “Grant was a wonderful young man. To go into the type of service he did shows that he wanted to do what was right and keep people safe. We will never forget him, the type of person he was, the sacrifices he made and the sacrifices we have made. Through the grace of God, your highway is coming up, Grant.”

SB 509 now moves to the Senate floor for a full vote.

###