CHIPPEWA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: Thursday, August 22, 6:50 p.m.
The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office is working to help support the sheriff after an off-duty car crash one week ago.
In a post on the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, they said they are starting to sell T-shirts to support Sheriff Mike Bitnar and his family.
"In response to the overwhelming concern and support for Sheriff Bitnar, we will be having a T-shirt fundraiser starting Monday at 8:30 at Allstar Graphics as well as later in the week at the Chippewa County Fair at our booth. The cost will be $15 and all proceeds will go to help support the sheriff and his family off set the costs of his recovery.
"We would like to thank Heather & Dave Atkinson for donating their services, as well as all of you who continue to support him in his recovery.
"The T-shirts will be [gray] and display the image [above]. The “1701” on the shirt refers to the sheriff’s radio call signal, unique and specific to him.
"For those of you who are out of area and would still like to show your support, please send a message to theAllstar Graphics Facebook page to inquire on shipping and payment options."
UPDATE: Wednesday, August 21, 6:05 p.m.
Chippewa County Undersheriff Greg Postma, provided an update on Sheriff Mike Bitnar on the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page on Wenesday, August 21, Undersheriff Postma said:
"As of Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Sheriff Mike Bitnar still remains in ICU at War Memorial Hospital.
His condition has begun to stabilize and he is noticing some small improvements. To those of us watching him and following his condition, those improvements seem slow and perhaps insignificant, but they all indicate that he is now headed to what we hope to be a full recovery.
I spoke with him and his family this morning and they have told me that he will likely remain in ICU for at least another 5 days.
As always, your continued support and prayers have been, and continue to be, overwhelming; please keep them coming.
I will continue to post on his condition every few days as we see marked improvement.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many more time before this over; Thank you, Thank you and Thank you, for all you have done and continue to do for him and his family.
UPDATE: Wednesday, August 14, 6:45 p.m.
According to the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page:
"This afternoon Sheriff Bitnar was rushed back to the ER for severe abdominal pain.
Reports that he was being prepped for surgery were correct, however issues developed at the last minute that changed those plans.
He has been admitted to ICU at War Memorial Hospital.
We will attempt to keep you informed of his progress as time permits.
He is mindful and aware of the situation and would appreciate your continued support, encouragement and prayers.
Your over whelming support and concern is so amazing that it is currently causing the switchboard at WMH to have problems handling the call volume.
If you would like to contact him in an effort to share your support please feel to send him your good thoughts and well wishes to the Chippewa County Sheriff Office.
I have contact with him on a daily basis and am more then happy to deliver his “get well soon” mail. Those little bits of encouragement are helping and they assist in breaking up the long hours.
We will attempt to keep you all informed of his progress as time goes on.
Sincere Thanks to You All,
UPDATE: Wednesday, August 14, 10:45 a.m.
The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office says Sheriff Michael Bitnar has been discharged from the hospital.
Bitnar was injured in an off-duty crash on M-28 Saturday. He was in the intensive care unit at War Memorial Hospital since then.
The sheriff's office says Bitnar has a long road to full recovery, but this is certainly the step in the right direction that he had been needing.
Authorities say Bitnar's spirits are high, and he is anxious to return to work.
UPDATE: Wednesday, August 14, 6:25 a.m.
The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office has provided an update on Sheriff Michael Bitnar. As of Wednesday morning, he is still in ICU and continues to make slow steps forward in his recovery.
The Sheriff's Office confirms that Sheriff Michael Bitnar was involved in a serious off-duty traffic crash on Saturday, August 10. Authorities say that Bitnar was traveling West bound on M-28 in a Prius.
Paul Sitz of Ramsey, Minnesota, was driving east on M-28 when he crossed over the center line, entering the other lane and hitting the Prius driven by Bitnar.
Bitnar's vehicle then rolled over a total of four times before coming to a complete stop. The Sheriff's Office says that Bitnar received several, severe internal injuries as a result.
In a Facebook post, the Sheriff's Office says that Bitnar and his family have been overwhelmed by the measure of support and concern that they have received from the community, and would like to thank everyone for all of the positive thoughts, comments, and prayers that they have received.
The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office also extended their thanks to the citizens who helped at the scene of the crash, EMS personnel, the Michigan State Police, the DNR, Deputy Lindy Waite, EMT Lucy Carrick, local fire departments, and Chippewa County Central Dispatch.
UPDATE: Monday, August 12, 5:39 p.m.
Troopers from the Michigan State Police Sault Ste. Marie Post were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash on M-28 near Salt Point Road in Chippewa Township around 7:10 p.m. on Saturday, August 8.
Paul Sitz of Ramsey, Minnesota, was driving east on M-28 when he crossed over the center line and didn’t see the westbound vehicle when attempting to turn into a parking lot.
Chippewa County Sheriff Michael Bitnar of Rudyard, who was off-duty, attempted to avoid the crash and veered off, but was struck in the drivers’ side door, causing him to hit the grassy portion of the shoulder and roll over. Bitnar’s vehicle rolled over several times before coming to rest.
Troopers said Sitz was treated and released at the scene. Bitnar was transported to War Memorial Hospital in Newberry for internal injuries.
Sitz was found at fault in the crash and was cited for careless driving.
Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the crash.
Bay Mills Ambulance and Hulbert Fire responded to the scene and Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources assisted in the investigation.
No other details have been released.
The Chippewa County Sheriff is recovering after a serious crash over the weekend.
Sheriff Michael Bitnar is in the intensive care unit at War Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, according to Chippewa County Undersheriff Greg Postma. Bittnar was off duty at the time of the crash.
It happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday on M-28 near Salt Point Rd. in western Chippewa County, an intersection known as Strongs Corner.
Authorities say a vehicle crossed the center line and hit Sheriff Bitnar's vehicle head on. The sheriff's vehicle then rolled over four times.
Bittnar was off duty at the time. The Michigan State Police Sault Ste. Marie Post is handling the crash investigation and could not release any further details. No other injuries were reported in the crash.
Postma is filling in as undersheriff as Bitnar recovers.
Bitnar was first hired on with the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office in June 1991. He was elected sheriff in Nov. 2016.