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Fatal truck accident takes the life of Maryland police officer

The Maryland law enforcement community is grieving this week after losing one of their own. A Maryland State Police officer and father of six died in a tragic car accident last Saturday while supposedly pursuing a speeding motorcycle. The accident occurred in Howard County on Interstate 95 during the officer's night shift.

While the officer had yet to broadcast his intention to pursue the speeding motorcycle rider, witness testimonies suggest that he was following the cyclist when he collided with a large tractor trailer. The tractor trailer's driver had parked the vehicle on the highway's shoulder, apparently catching the officer by surprise as he approached the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 32.

The force of the impact seriously damaged the officer's squad car, and investigators report that the victim died at the scene of the accident. The officer's supervisor at the Maryland State Police Department praised the man for his commitment to his work and to "keep[ing] our highways safe."

This tragic accident is a potent reminder of just how dangerous Maryland's roadways can be, even for the safest drivers. Unexpected obstacles, out of control vehicles, and sudden accidents on the road ahead can easily catch a driver off guard and lead to a serious crash.

Maryland Police officers dedicate their time to minimizing these risks by enforcing speed limits, no passing zones, and other rules of the road. This police officer lost his life attempting to keep other motorists safe and his sacrifice was commemorated by Governor Martin O'Malley in a statement last weekend.

Source: WJLA, "Shaft Hunter, Maryland State Police trooper, killed in car accident." 21 May 2011

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