Taylor officer killed on duty in hit-and-run accident on I-94

TAYLOR, MICHIGAN – The City of Taylor is mourning the death of a second officer killed in the line of duty in two months.

And Taylor police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver of a vehicle that struck the officer as he was assisting a motorist on the I-94 Freeway and then fled the scene.

Lt. Dan Kromer, a 20-year veteran of the all-volunteer Taylor Auxiliary Police Department, was pronounced dead Tuesday night at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn.

The incident occurred at 8:59 p.m. Tuesday on the shoulder of westbound I-94 at Monroe in Taylor.

Police said Lt. Kromer, 54, was providing assistance to a motorist on the shoulder of the freeway when he was struck by a white car described as a possible late 1990s or early 2000 model Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis or similar model.

The hit-and-run vehicle fled west on I-94.

Contrary to initial reports, investigators said the idle vehicle was not struck. However, the hit-and-run vehicle will have passenger-side damage to the headlight, turn signal, windshield, passenger-side window and mirror.

A witness told police that the car had a Michigan “sunset-style” license plate.

Neither the occupants of the idle vehicle nor Lt. Kromer’s partner were injured.

Taylor police Lt. Mary Sclabassi said investigators are following up on evidence left at the scene and are working with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

“At this point, it appears to be an accident, but we do need to talk to the driver,” Lt. Sclabassi said. “It would be in the driver’s best interest if he turned himself in.”

Meanwhile, Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward leading to the identification of the driver.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Taylor Police Department at (734) 287-6611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP.

Lt. Kromer was the first Taylor Auxiliary Police officer killed in the line of duty. An auxiliary officer of the year early in his career, Lt. Kromer was married and lived in Newport. Aside from volunteering with the auxiliary, he worked in federal protective services, guarding federal buildings.

Auxiliary Police Chief Ronald Vaughan described Lt. Kromer as a “gentle, quiet guy” who was well-liked by everyone on the department. He served as the auxiliary gun range instructor and was promoted to lieutenant in May.

The Taylor Auxiliary Police is considered one of the finest volunteer municipal police agencies in Michigan. Auxiliary officers go through extensive training and are required to volunteer regularly in a variety of details deemed necessary to further the goals of the Taylor Police Department. Officers wear uniforms, carry weapons and drive in marked police cars.

The Taylor Auxiliary Police officers check on homes during vacations, businesses, schools and city parks. They provide security and a police presence at city and church festivals, high school sporting events and many other events.

Lt. Kromer’s death comes just 46 days after the death of Taylor police Cpl. Matthew Edwards, who was shot and killed July 23 while investigating a reported burglary in the city. The former police officer of the year was the first Taylor officer killed in the line of duty.

Tyress Mathews, 36, of Westland has been charged with premeditated murder, a felony punishable by life in prison without parole, and other felonies in the death of Cpl. Edwards and the attempted murder of his partner.

Lt. Dan Kromer