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Posted on Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 6 p.m.

Ann Arbor firefighter's death on I-696 ruled a suicide

By Kyle Feldscher

The Oakland County Medical Examiner ruled Ann Arbor firefighter Daniel Armitage’s death was a suicide, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press.

Thumbnail image for Dan_Armitage_cropped2.jpg

Daniel Armitage

Armitage died Thursday after being hit by at least three vehicles on Interstate 696 during the morning rush hour. He was 41 years old.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Hugo of the Hills Church, 2215 Opdyke Road, in Bloomfield Hills, according to the report.

The report states Armitage died of multiple injuries and was hit by at least three vehicles. Information from police was used by the medical examiner to help determine the cause of death, according to the report.

According to police, Armitage was the on the north shoulder of westbound I-696 near Farmington Road and was lying in the right lane when hit. It appeared that he was changing a tire, police said.

Bloomfield Township police are investigating an alleged domestic assault at Armitage’s home on Jan. 1. Armitage’s wife is currently in Beaumont Hospital, according to police.

To read the full report in the Free Press, click here.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Mental Health and Spiritual Well-being : This sad news must again remind us of the importance of understanding man as a Whole Person. A person could be physically fit to perform duties in an efficient manner and may not be able to defend his own physical existence. The importance of mental well-being is connected with the aspect that I describe as spiritual well-being. There should be a harmonious relationship between the Whole Person and his cells, tissues, and organs like heart and brain. Spiritualism involves developing a relationship, a partnership, an association, or bonding to provide a benefit to the participants. A transient situational disturbance could have a powerful influence over man's emotions and temporarily disable him from protecting himself from his own suicidal thoughts. We need to encourage an attitude that describes man as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being. A routine visit to a doctor's office for a physical check up must involve a consultation that aims to defend the physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being of the person. If this firefighter had visited a doctor for any ailment, the doctor who practices comprehensive health care would have inquired about his mental, social, moral, and spiritual issues and concerns apart from the physical ailment for which he has taken the doctor's appointment. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

Thanks for your kind responses. In this specific instance i am not aware if the person had gone to a doctor for any reason like flu or some other physical ailment. If the health care provider is sincere, and is compassionate, most patients confess their problems and worries very easily. If I were to ask you a simple question, &quot;How are you?&quot;, my compassion acts like a motivating force to get a complete answer. The power of compassion gives us the ability to know the problems of even mute, dumb, deaf, blind and other people who may not be able to communicate effectively. The person with suicidal thoughts need not lose his job. In my opinion, a person with suicidal thoughts if provided with coping skills, can live with those thoughts for the rest of his life leading a productive life. Prevention is a mechanism to prevent a person from taking action on those thoughts.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

The other half is making it ok to admit you have a problem and your supervisors not taking your job away from you. That is the other sad fact of life. Our society currently just tells us to take a pill and get over it. Sad reality of the fact is we have now lost two fine gents to the ages of time.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

Half the battle is getting a man to go to the doctor in the first place ;)


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

I had a friend choose to die this way. Kyle, you may want to include the blurb on resources in the area for those who may be considering suicide.... I copy-paste for you.... &quot;Resources exist in Washtenaw County for people who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. Anyone in that circumstance is urged to get immediate help. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline (Military veterans press #1 ). 734-662-2222 Ozone House is a 24 hour hotline for youth. 734-996-4747 is a 24-hour hotline at U of M Psychiatric Emergency Services. &quot;


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

Please post contact numbers for suicide hot lines with this story......and ALL stories about suicide. It is irresponsible not to.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

When I first read this story, I was on my way back from Xmas Vacation. I mentioned to my wife that this story sounded strange. However strange, I feel for the family, friends, co-workers and most of all the individuals who inadvertanly ran over this man. This is something they will have to live with for a long time.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

If you go on line you can actually see the cameras from I 696. I am wondering if the cameras caught any footage of this incident. This is most tragic and again, we lost another fine community servant. Sounds like from what a poster said, can't say anything because of fear of loosing your job. So sad this has to be the case. Wish it was not. Good luck to all.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

How sad for the family. What a thing to remember in years to come for the children. Hopefully the wife will recover from the abuse.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

My sympathies to his family, and to the innocent and completely uninvolved drivers who he forced to be a part of this. Including the family whose car ran off the road as a result.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

Depression and anger issues are very much related. I hope anyone dealing with such seeks help from a therapist. Group therapy works wonders; you share and learn from folks dealing with the same and you don't feel as alone. My sympathies to his family, friends and co-workers.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Domestic violence isn't primarily an anger issue, it is a power and control issue. That is why abusers can come off to society as wonderful, caring, loving, well rounded people and those who know them can be so shocked when they hear about the domestic violence. They have complete control of their anger and use it to gain the power and control they desire. However, domestic violence and suicidal thoughts can be related. But, therapy for depression and even anger management isn't enough to solve the many issues that come with being an abuser.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

So in the space of a few weeks, both an Ann Arbor firefighter and a local police chief commit suicide. I hope the authorities, and the organizations, are looking at all possibilities, both cause and detection/prevention.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

Like I just said and in another post from the officer who shot himself, if you come out of the closet and say I need help? You will loose your job if nothing else. I really wish the laws would change so that if this got serious enough then it would be a matter of telling the superiors. Otherwise, why go thru this agony just to stay silent. So sad and yet so tragic.

Steve Sommers

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:28 a.m.

Maybe like the last 16 years. This city has put these guys under extraordinary stress for years. I don't think it would hurt to get them some help.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:04 a.m.

In this case, it appears the suicide has absolutely nothing to do with his job but rather a psychological problem he has had for years. It really does not call for another study. Please.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

This is tragic for the family and friends, but it is also a terrible, terrible tragedy for those drivers who hit him with their cars or saw the accident happen. Scars come to many in such a situation. My prayers go out to these innocent drivers, too.

monroe c

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

The new information changes the equation a bit, but the story is no less tragic and heartbreaking now that his death has been ruled a suicide. I hope that his wife recovers, both physically and emotionally, and that his children receive support from those around them.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

well worded.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

It's hard to believe unless there are more details released, like if there was a note, or evidence to prove he didn't slip back and fall into the lane. I hope the family can still recover some life insurance. And will the former Ann Arbor Snooze please ask about if the family qualifies for his pension in this case?


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

I believe it was reported over the weekend (newspaper or TV) that none of the tires on his vehicle were flat. A couple of lug bolts had been removed from one of the tires, and the jack was still in the trunk of the car.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

@88chill: that is an interesting theory, wonder if there are camera's in that area?


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

I suspect they may have watched traffic camera footage.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

I'll wait to hear from the people who said the people driving the cars that hit him should be charged with murder. Of course, those that were not there and never talked to one witness are quick to throw their views on something they know nothing about. I'll wait for theor response, but I won't expect anything.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

I'm waiting to hear from those originally blaming the drivers as well. It's too bad they had to be subject to this mans decision to end his life in their hands. Something they had no choice in and something they have to live with. They are the victims.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

Johnnya2, save the hyperbole. This is the third article I can find on the subject. The first article had 70 comments and only one commenter mentioned manslaughter (none mentioned murder). Most of the approximate 8 or 9 replies to the comment were obviously against such a hasty conclusion. The second article had 95 comments. One mentioned &quot;murder&quot; (none said &quot;manslaughter&quot;) and that commenter was against criminal charges.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

The fact it may have been a suicide does not minimize the tragedy. It should only emphasize that those with depression should seek professional help. My sympathies to Mr. Armitage's family and co-workers.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Assuming he was clinically depressed is quite a leap. Not everyone who commits suicide is suffering from clinical depression.


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

Unfortunately, sometimes people who have depression are unable to even ask for help, it is so deep. We need to be aware and support those around us and show care and compassion to those who may suffering from it. Depression takes on many forms, sometimes it causes people to do terrible things.

Marshall Applewhite

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

This is a really strange story. It would be interesting to read an interview with his superiors at the fire department to see if his behavior was erratic or different in the weeks leading up to the assault/suicide.