Retired police officer among two who died after snowblowing in metro Detroit

Posted at 10:52 AM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-12 17:24:57-05

Two men have died in snow-related medical situations.

A Canton man has died after what is believed to be a heart attack brought on by strenuous outdoor work.

Michael Moersch, 70, was using a snow blower to clear his driveway Sunday night. His family told 7 Action News that he’d typically return to the garage after shoveling to smoke a cigar, and then come inside. He never came back inside.

“We found him laying on the garage floor,” said Kim Moersch as she wiped away tears.

Kim Moersch said she hopes people take note of her father’s death, and that it saves someone else’s life. He was 70-years-old,  but his family said that he received a clean bill of health from a doctor roughly two weeks ago.

It was no surprise to the family that Moersch pushed himself too far. He was described as a giver, someone who didn’t want help from anyone else.

In the past few years he’s spent a majority of his time taking care of his wife of 50 years as she battles Huntington’s disease.

“I thought at first when we got the call it was for her,” said Diane Anderson, Michael Moersch’s sister. “It was Mike. It hurts. He was the most caring and loving man that you could know. He took care of everyone.”

Experts warn that people need to take caution when the weather turns cold.

Typical recommendations include taking frequent breaks while doing strenuous activities, keeping yourself hydrated, and making sure that you are wearing proper clothes.

It’s advice that the Moersch family said they’re certain Michael knew, which is why they hope his death drives home the cautious messages so other families don’t have to deal with a similar tragedy.

“If you have grandparents out there and your’e in your 20s, do not let the push a snow shovel or a snow blower,” said his daughter, pushing through tears. “This is what happens! Just help your grandparents. Help your grandparents do whatever you can to stop stuff like this from happening.”

Moersch was a retired Detroit Police officer who served for roughly 20 years. Upon retiring he went into business with his brother.

The family said this death is especially hard because they’ve lost several family members in recent years, including Moersch’s granddaughter back in September.

Michael James Moersch, 70, was a retired Detroit police officer. Family says he came in from snowblowing and went to the garage to smoke a cigar. The family found him unresponsive there.

Moerseh took care of his wife who suffers from Huntington's disease.

In Rochester Hills, a 55-year-old man was found unresponsive in his home and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Family says he had been out snow-blowing earlier in the day.

Both men are scheduled for autopsies.