Only fallen female MSP trooper honored with highway sign

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published November 15, 2018

 State Rep. Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills; David DeVries, the husband of the late Vicki Moreau DeVries; and the late trooper’s partner, Michigan State Police Trooper Bob Muldore, celebrate Vicki Moreau DeVries’ life Nov. 14 at a press conference in Southfield.

State Rep. Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills; David DeVries, the husband of the late Vicki Moreau DeVries; and the late trooper’s partner, Michigan State Police Trooper Bob Muldore, celebrate Vicki Moreau DeVries’ life Nov. 14 at a press conference in Southfield.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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SOUTHFIELD/FARMINGTON HILLS — While driving along westbound Interstate 696 to southbound Interstate 275 in Farmington Hills, Trooper Vicki Moreau DeVries Memorial Highway is bound to catch one’s attention.

The woman the sign is named in honor of was discussed Nov. 14 at the Michigan Department of Transportation Metro Region Office in Southfield.

State Rep. Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, hosted a press event for House Bill 4828 that was responsible for bringing the sign to fruition.

The bill designates the ramp from westbound I-696 to southbound I-275 in Farmington Hills in Moreau DeVries’ name.

The bill designates the section of I-696 in honor of the first female state trooper to die in the line of duty in Michigan history.

David DeVries, Vicki’s husband — now a retired Michigan State Police trooper — was there, along with state troopers and others, for the tribute.

They honored her memory and life while also reflecting on her death. Moreau DeVries died while on duty as a Michigan State Police trooper in 1982.

She died on I-696 in Farmington Hills, not too far from where the couple first met.

According to a press release, she was working as an undercover narcotics officer on July 22, 1982, after making a transaction with a suspected narcotics dealer. She drove home in an unmarked police car late that night, and her vehicle left the roadway and overturned on I-696 in the city. She died at the scene.

According to the release, Moreau DeVries was the 36th state police officer, and the only female one to date, to die in the line of duty.

David DeVries, who was emotional that day, said that the ramp recognition is special.

“Vicki was the love of my life,” he said, adding tongue-in-cheek that she “straightened” him out and was his guardian angel. “She was a phenomenal trooper.”

He said it’s important to cherish those memories.

“Let’s hope we never have to put up a sign again. … I don’t want to see any more family go through this,” he said, adding that he did not realize how many people were impacted by her death.

Robert Muladore, Moreau DeVries’ partner with the MSP in the early 1980s, said during the event that it was an honor and a privilege to work with Moreau DeVries for about a year and a half.

“If anybody knew her, she had a telltale laugh you would never forget,” he said, adding that he can tell a thousand stories about working with her. “You don’t know how close you get to a partner you work with. You get to a point where you stop a car — you look at them without saying a single word (and know how to proceed next) because your life depends on it.”

Muladore said he was the one who was dispatched to the scene of her fatal injury accident.

“I could play a video for you,” he said of how his mind remembers and processed those moments. “Your mind picks up the most minute detail.”

While her death was difficult, her fun-loving personality and tendency to say “geez” make the pain more bearable. But he doesn’t forget.

“She was such an inspiration for everybody. … She taught me so many things.”

The sign was installed Nov. 13; last year, the highway was dedicated in her name.

“It was a big team effort to have this,” Greig said. “Her service to the state of Michigan, the people of Michigan, needs to be honored, needs to be recognized — her story, powerful story, of honor and sacrifice.”

Earlier this year, DeVries talked about how he and his late wife met nearly 40 years ago while he was delivering a pair of eyes from a Detroit hospital to a Lansing hospital.

The then-24-year-old David DeVries met the then-25-year-old Vicki Moreau DeVries when he was en route on I-696, at Drake Road. They met while working to transport the eyes from one hospital to another.

Moreau DeVries was working as a road officer at the now-defunct MSP post in Northville when she met him; within nine months, they wed in 1980.

Greig described Moreau DeVries as a “remarkable woman.”

“She broke barriers, gave of herself at the end of the day,” she said. Greig said she drives on I-696 daily.

“I will use this as a constant reminder of what service and sacrifice is: breaking barriers.”

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