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Off-duty Michigan State Police sergeant praised for potentially saving elderly man’s life

79-year-old man found slumped over in snow

Sergeant James Bush is credited with potentially saving an elderly Royal Oak man's life.
Sergeant James Bush is credited with potentially saving an elderly Royal Oak man's life.

Michigan State Police Sergeant James Bush has been credited with potentially saving an elderly man’s life last night in Chester Township, according to MSP.

Bush’s wife called him at approximately 9 p.m. after handing out candy at a church Halloween event in Lewiston saying she saw a vehicle stuck off the road on Bass Lake Landing south of Bass Lake Trail, according to a release from MSP.

Sergeant James Bush found the 79-year-old man slumped over in the snow.
Sergeant James Bush found the 79-year-old man slumped over in the snow. (Michigan State Police)

Bush, who was off-duty, drove to the location in his personal truck where he found the vehicle, with an abandoned dog and cat inside, and footprints leading away from the car in the snow, according to MSP. After following the tracks, Bush found a 79-year-old Royal Oak man who was barefoot, slumped over and couldn’t stand.

Bush then carried the man, who couldn’t tell which direction his cabin was in, to his truck. Following a 911 call, Otsego County emergency responders along with troopers from MSP’s Gaylord post — where Bush is stationed — arrived and helped get the elderly man’s body temperature to 92 degrees after 30 minutes of warming him up, according to MSP.

It was later discovered the man had been in the snow since 7 p.m. and his vehicle’s fuel tank was empty, according to MSP.

“If it were not for Sgt. Bush’s wife’s call and the fast response of Sergeant James Bush, the outcome may have been different,” the release states.