Funeral services for Trooper killed in crash

The State Troopers PBA is once again mourning the loss of one of its members. Trooper Michael C. Anders was killed Friday, October 13, as the result of an off-duty car crash in Niagara County. Anders, 33, had been a New York State Trooper for three years and was most recently assigned to SP Lyons in Troop E.

Anders was a passenger in a vehicle that lost control and struck a tractor-trailer on state Route 104. The accident is still under investigation, and weather may have been a factor.

The PBA sends its thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and fellow Troopers of Michael C. Anders.

Calling hours and funeral arrangements are as follows.

A wake is scheduled for Monday, October 16 from 3 pm. – 7 p.m. at Keenan’s Funeral Home, 7501 Pittsford/Palmyra Road (St Rt 31) in Perinton, NY. Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, October 17 at 11 a.m. at St. John of Rochester, 10 Wichford Way (corner of Wichford and St Rt 31), Perinton, NY.

Below is an article from the Finger Lakes Times newspaper on October 15, in which a State Police supervisor of Anders spoke of his dedication to and love of being a New York State Trooper.

By DENISE M. CHAMPAGNE, Finger Lakes Times
LYONS – State troopers Saturday flocked to the Fairport home of Richard and Josefina Anders, parents of a fellow officer killed Friday in an accident in Niagara County.

A native of Fairport, Michael Anders, 33, of Newark, was assigned to the Lyons substation in Troop E.

He and a friend were returning home from Niagara Falls Friday morning when the accident occurred about 9:45 a.m. in the town of Lockport.

Police said Anders was a passenger in a car driven by Todd Dingman of Fairport. Dingman was eastbound on state Route 104 when he apparently lost control of the car and crossed into the westbound lanes, hitting a tractor-trailer.

Trooper Mark O’Donnell said the weather, which hit four counties in a record-breaking lake-effect snowstorm, may have been a factor.

Anders was pronounced dead at the scene. Dingman was taken to Lockport Hospital and then flown to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where he was listed in satisfactory condition Saturday night.

Troopers said Dingman broke his arms and legs. The truck driver refused medical attention.

Zone Sgt. Jose Vasquez, who spoke from the Anders’ home Saturday night, said the parents were very proud of their son.

"They’re devastated," he said. "Michael was a very hardworking trooper, very well liked among his peers."

Vasquez supervises Wayne, Seneca and Cayuga counties and was Anders’ supervisor. He said Anders worked all over Wayne County, including stations in Wolcott, Williamson and Lyons. He knew Anders since he became a trooper and has known the family for many years.

"When I heard that he was coming to our zone, I was so happy because he’s such a good person," Vasquez said. "He brought a lot of life to the job. He was always smiling. He was always professional. He was very vibrant.

"We could see how much of an impact it’s had because the Anders residence has just been inundated with troopers all day long, coming to pay their respects to the mother and father."

Vasquez said Anders enjoyed fishing, shooting at The Genesee Conservation League gun club in Rochester, and playing computer games.

Anders graduated from State University College at Brockport and earned a master’s degree in education from Nazareth College. His girlfriend, Rachel Norris, is a dietitian at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital in Newark.

"The loss of Michael has really impacted the troopers of Wayne County, as well as everyone that has worked with him in the past," Vasquez said. "He was a pillar to a lot of people in the station. A lot of people turned to him. He was very intelligent and he was very professional. That was the persona that he gave you 24/7."

Anders graduated in September 2003 from the State Police Academy in Albany and was assigned to Troop E, headquartered in Canandaigua. He had been working from the Lyons barracks for more than a year.

Gov. George Pataki Friday issued a statement saying he was "extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death" of Anders.

"Trooper Anders served the citizens of this state with courage, thoughtfulness and professionalism, all traits that have become synonymous with New York State troopers," Pataki says.

State police and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department are continuing their investigation of the accident.