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Reports: Houghton County sheriff dies Monday after weekend accident

HOUGHTON — Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean died Monday night at a hospital in Marquette, authorities said.

“The sudden and tragic loss of this man who was both a leader and a friend is hard to process,” said Undersheriff Kevin Coppo. “Our hearts go out to his family during this truly difficult time.”

McLean had been in critical condition Monday afternoon, more than a day after an accident at his home led to him being hospitalized.

The sheriff’s office posted an image of a badge with “sheriff” blacked out. The post received nearly 100 comments mourning McLean’s passing within a half-hour going live at 8:30 p.m.

More than 160 people posted comments, with many referring to him by a nickname, “Slim.”

McLean suffered significant injuries in the accident, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Monday morning. Neighbors administered life-saving measures late Saturday night until emergency medical personnel arrived. He was airlifted to UP Health System — Marquette, where he remained Monday afternoon. No other details were released about the incident.

McLean has served as sheriff since being elected to his first four-year term in 1996.

“I’ve reached that age where I could say, ‘Well, I’ll collect my Social Security and just retire and walk away,'” he said in a Gazette interview during his most recent re-election campaign in 2020. “But it’s nice to be part of something meaningful. And I still have the drive to keep going.”

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