While law enforcement agencies across the state are mourning the loss of one of their own, the search continues for the driver of a vehicle believed linked to the death.

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth, appearing this morning on the Steve Gruber Show on 1240 WJIM, said Deputy Grant William Whitaker died early Sunday in pursuit of a driver  described as traveling in excess of 70 miles-hour-per in a rural section of the county.

Wriggelsworth said it was afteran initial spotting by another deputy, that Deputy Whitaker continued the search.

The suspect vehicle, according to MLive.com was described as a white-colored SUV.  It has yet to be located.  It is unclear whether speeding is what led authorities to pursue the vehicle or whether speed increased after that pursuit was underway.

Wriggelsworth says there is speculation that Whitaker may have been swerving to avoid a deer from a nearby cornfield when the crash occurred.  He said officials are left to speculate on what led to the tragedy since there were no glaring reasons for the crash.

The sheriff added that all procedures for a pursuit were followed and that he doesn't anticipate any changes in the wake of Deputy Whitaker's death.

Whitaker was engaged and had recently purchased a home.  His accident occurred about a mile from his home.

There is no information yet on services for the fallen deputy but law enforcement from across the state will be in attendance.  It was in 1996, that another deputy lost his life.  Sgt Paul Cole died after he, too, slammed into a tree during an emergency call.

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