Sgt. Lee Smith

Sgt. Lee Smith (Photo: Wayne County Sheriff’s Office)

Wayne County Sheriff's Sergeant Killed In Hit-And-Run While Jogging

August 14, 2018 - 1:50 pm

WESTLAND (WWJ) - Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon says all resources are being used to find a wanted driver after an off-duty deputy was struck and killed while jogging om Westland.

Sgt. Lee Smith
Sgt. Lee Smith (Photo: Wayne County Sheriff’s Office)
According to the sheriff's office, the deadly crash happened at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, along Hines Drive, just west of Middlebelt in Westland.

Investigators are now looking for a Buick Enclave with chrome trim, that veered across the roadway, hit Sgt. Lee Smith -- who was jogging eastbound on the shoulder of Hines Drive -- and dragged him a short distance before speeding away. 

A witness followed the vehicle until losing sight of it, then stopping to render aid to Smith, who died at the scene. 

"We've lost a hero," Napoleon told reporters, noting that Smith has just put in for his retirement, and was scheduled to work for only one more work.

A team of chaplains will be on hand at the department to help officers deal with the loss.

"It's very emotional for all of us," the sheriff said. "Unfortunately I've done this too many time, and it never gets easier."

Smith, a 26-year veteran of the force, was honored with a "Westland Police Department Certificate of Merit" along with some other sheriff's office members for helping evacuate people from a senior center that was on fire. He left behind a wife and an adult son.

The suspect vehicle is a smaller, dark-colored SUV with round headlights. Investigators believe the vehicle will likely have front-end and/or hood damage.

As an investigation continues, a cash reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for the tip leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information should the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Hines Drive was shut down from Merriman to Inkster roads for an investigation but has since reopened.