Wish my first post could have been lighter in nature.
Maryland State Trooper Gives His Life In the Line of Duty
Major GREG SHIPLEY, College Park Barracks PIO
Department of Maryland State Police
A Maryland State Trooper working a vehicle crash early this morning on Rt. 50 in Prince George's County was struck and killed by the driver of a van passing by the scene.
The trooper is identified as Trooper First Class Anthony Jones, 50, who was assigned to the College Park Barracks. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shortly after 2 a.m. today, a trooper from the College Park Barracks was dispatched to a single-vehicle property damage crash on eastbound Rt. 50 near Freeway Airport. TFC Jones was also working night patrol and stopped to assist the trooper.
The initial incident involved a vehicle whose driver said he had been cut-off by another vehicle and struck the jersey wall on the left side of the roadway before he was able to maneuver his car to the right side of the roadway. A wheel from the vehicle had come off and was laying in the fast lane of the highway.
Both patrol vehicles had their emergency lights activated, illuminating the scene. TFC Jones lit his flashlight and used it to warn oncoming traffic as he crossed the highway to remove the tire. He retrieved the tire and was moving back across the highway when an eastbound van entered the area.
Although TFC Jones was waving his flashlight, the driver of the van did not stop and struck the trooper in lane three of the four lane highway. The trooper's body was carried down the highway several hundred yards.
The driver of the van pulled to the side of the road and was contacted by two off-duty municipal police officers who had witnessed the incident. The driver exhibited signs of operating under the influence of alcohol and was taken into custody.
Emergency rescue personnel responded immediately. TFC Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team responded to investigate the crash. Rt. 50 was closed for the investigation until about 8 a.m.
The driver of the van was transported to the College Park Barracks. Charges are pending in coordination with the Prince George's County State's Attorney Office.
Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Thomas E. Hutchins responded to the scene. He made official notification to TFC Jones' wife and family. "TFC Jones was an outstanding trooper who set an example for others to follow," Colonel Hutchins said. "After a career in the Air Force, he decided to continue his public service by becoming a Maryland State Trooper. He was committed to a life of service, to his nation and his state. His life, his legacy and his sacrifice will always be remembered."
TFC Jones had been a Maryland State Trooper since 1998, after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. He spent his entire Maryland State Police career working as a road patrol trooper at the College Park Barracks. He received a valor award several years ago after he and other police officers ran into a burning College Park convenience store to rescue the people inside. Later this week, he was to be presented the College Park Barracks "Top Cop" award for outstanding performance in the month of April.
TFC Jones is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 16 and 13. He is the 39th Maryland State Trooper to give his life in the line of duty. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.