Condolences to Rep. Peter Pettalia’s Family
State Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle, was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday evening, according to legislative leaders.
Pettalia, a third-term member of the House, was a well-known motorcycle advocate who was instrumental in repealing the helmet requirement for motorcyclists in Michigan. He served as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Authorities are not sharing many details other than the 61-year-old lawmaker was riding a motorcycle on M-33 in northern Michigan’s Montmorency County, It is not known if he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
According to the Michigan Information and Research Service, the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police were working the accident scene.
A Presque Isle resident since 1977, Pettalia is survived by his wife, Karen, and two grown children.
According to a MIRS biography, Pettalia was elected in November 2010 to his first term in the Michigan House. He previously served as Presque Isle Township supervisor for 16 years and as a volunteer firefighter for East Grand Lake Fire Department for 15 years.
He was vice-chairman for the State Park Advisory Board for Negwegon, Rockport and Thompson Harbor State Parks. He was one of the founding members of the Presque Isle County Economic Development Commission and the Community Development Commission.
He and a partner operated an auto repair business for 33 years. He also operated a seasonal cabin rental business on Grand Lake, in Northeast Michigan.
Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement: “Sue and I were heartbroken to hear of the death of Representative Pettalia and send condolences on behalf of the entire state to his family, colleagues and friends. Peter’s wife, Karen, their children and grandchildren are in our thoughts and prayers especially as they deal with this tragedy.
“Peter had a long career committed to helping the people he represented and served, whether as a volunteer firefighter, a township supervisor, or a state representative. He will be missed by many people here in Lansing as well as in his long-time home of Presque Isle and throughout his district.”
Michigan Republican Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel released a statement late Monday: “Representative Pettalia was a tremendous public servant during his far too short time in the Michigan House. He was a tireless advocate for the people of his district and their interests in Lansing. His commitment to his constituents cannot be overstated. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, said in a statement: “We are all devastated to hear the news today about Rep. Pettalia. Pete was a dear friend and long-time colleague who was well-known for his expertise, his hard work, and his love for the great outdoors. His fellow Republican representatives elected him last year into a leadership position in our caucus, and everyone from both parties looked up to him as a senior member of the state House.
“Pete was also deeply involved in his local community. He was a township supervisor, a volunteer firefighter, and a fierce advocate for local parks and recreation. We will all remember his passion for Northern Michigan and the stories he would tell of family vacations and trips into the wilderness with friends and neighbors.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out today to Pete’s wife, Karen, and their two children as they make sense of this terrible tragedy and remember a great man and a true friend of ours.”
Snyder said he would order flags lowered in honor of Pettalia at the appropriate time.
Please join The Promise FM in our condolences to the family of Rep. Pettalia and the people of Presque Isle, Alpena and Cheyboygan area. We were blessed to have interviewed Rep. Pettalia in June as part of our “Road to Decision” series leading up to the October 4th event with Franklin Graham coming to Lansing, MI. to pray on our Capital Steps for our national election this fall. It is times like these that we all need to stop and evaluate our spiritual standing with the Lord Jesus Christ. Death can come at anytime, are you born again, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So when that moment comes for you, you will see Jesus face to face in Heaven. John 3:16 says, ” For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” Praise God Rep. Pettalia attended Grand Lake Church in Presque Isle and heard the Good News.