A blue and gold ribbon, the colors of the Michigan State Police, flutters on a utility pole at a Plainfield Township intersection where a trooper died Wednesday morning.

Trooper Timothy O’Neill, 28, was killed after a crash while patrolling on his Michigan State Police motorcycle near the intersection of Wolverine Boulevard and Belding Road.

Detectives are still investigating but people who live near the intersection say Trooper O’Neill may not have been able to stop his motorcycle in time to avoid running into the rear of a vehicle stopped at a red light.

“What I heard was the person in front of the motorcycle, the light was turning yellow, so they stopped right away so they didn't run a red,” explains Stephanie Alberts, who lives a few hundred yards from the crash scene. “Because they stopped so quickly the motorcycle smashed right into them.”

Investigators say no one else was hurt in the crash.

Trooper O’Neill was a member of the state police for almost 4 years. He was engaged to be married next month.

“I just thought it was a car crash,” says Alberts. “I had no idea it was a police officer. It’s tragic.”

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